Asparagus and Oranges - a delightful combination of flavors!

Asparagus, thanks its high potassium content, is a very health food not just for heart and muscles, but also its diuretic effect helps in detoxifying.  Asparagus is the star vegetable of spring and its harvest season runs from March to mid-June. Generally, Asparagus is divided into two macro categories, green and white, but in reality there are three types in Italy: the green ones (more common) with a more grassy aftertaste; the more delicate white ones DOP of Bassano del Grappa; the violet one from Albenga, a slow food presidium, with an intense flavour. All three are low-calorie, rich in folic acid (vitamin of group B) and asparagine.

Cup of Asparagus and Orange - Asparagi e arancia in coppa


250 g of asparagus tips; 150 g of orange wedges; Parsley to taste.  For the seasoning: 4 tablespoons of Greek yogurt; 60 g of mayonnaise; 1 tablespoon of orange juice; 1 tablespoon of lemon juice


Wash and clean the asparagus and the oranges cut into wedges. Wash and dry the parsley before chopping it finely. Place everything in a bowl and mix very well. For the dressing, whisk the yoghurt in a bowl and mix with the mayonnaise to obtain a light sauce, then add the citrus juice. Add salt and pepper to the sauce and then pour it over the ingredients, mix everything well once again and then divide into individual portion cups or bowls. Grazie a Il Gusto!

Asparagus Risotto with Orange - Risotto agli asparagi e arancia


200 g of paraboiled rice; 125 g of green asparagus; 50 ml of vegetable broth; 1/2 orange (juice and zest); 1 clove of garlic; 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil;  50 g of ricotta (or 50 ml of cooking cream); 15 g of grated Parmigiano Reggiano


Wash and clean the asparagus with a potato peeler, removing the outer skin, then cut them into small pieces. Keep the tips aside. Crush the garlic with all its shirt, throw it in a thick-bottomed pot with the oil and brown it. When the garlic is golden, add the chopped asparagus and cook with the lid on for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding the tips after about 3 minutes.Pour the cooked asparagus pieces (minus the tips) into the blender glass, add 2 or 3 tablespoons of vegetable broth and blend until you obtain a smooth and silky cream. Put the rice in the pan where you browned the garlic and toast it for 12/13 minutes, adding the broth gradually, little by little as it dries. While the rice is cooking, wash the orange, grate half the zest. Squeeze half an orange and keep the juice aside.

When the risotto is cooked but still a little al dente, add the cream of asparagus, the juice of half an orange and the ricotta (or fresh cream if you prefer), mix and cook for about a minute. Lastly, stir in the Parmesan. If you want you can add a drizzle of raw oil at the end of cooking.Serve hot, decorating if you prefer with orange zest and a few asparagus tips kept aside. Grazie a Cucina Serena!

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