Summer may be on its way out, but seafood can be great as a winter comfort food too. Here's our recipe for a prawn, asparagus, pea and lemon zest risotto. Thanks to the chilli it has a gentle kick to it that goes well with our dry whites and of course it has a good dose of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc in it, so the flavours are deep and delicious. If you have a bottle of De Grendel Op Die Berg Chardonnay or De Grendel Koetshuis Sauvignon Blanc at hand, it would be a good pairing option.
500g raw prawns, shells on
3T olive oil
1 green chilli, deseeded, half sliced and half finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
300g arborio rice
½ glass Chardonnay
½ glass Sauvignon Blanc
200g baby frozen peas
1 bunch asparagus
Zest of 1 lemon
50g parmesan cheese, grated
Peel the prawns, keeping the heads and shells. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan and fry the prawn shells and heads, with the sliced chilli, until they have toasted and changed colour. Pour in some water and bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer.
Peel the asparagus and toss in olive oil salt and pepper. Grill the asparagus on a griddle pan until slightly charred. Set aside.
Bring the stock to the boil and keep on a low simmer. In a separate pan, melt half the butter over a medium heat. Stir in the onions and sweat gently for 8-10 mins until soft but not coloured, stirring occasionally. Stir the rice into the onions until completely coated in the butter, then stir continuously until the rice is shiny and the edges of the grain start to look transparent.
Pour in the wine and simmer until totally evaporated. Add the stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring with each addition until absorbed. Stir through the prawns and peas. Continue adding stock a ladleful at a time and stirring the rice over a low heat for 25-30 mins, until the rice is cooked al dente (with a slightly firm, starchy bite in the middle). The risotto should be creamy and slightly soupy. When you draw a wooden spoon through it, there should be a wake that holds for a few moments, but not longer.
Stir through the chopped chilli, lemon juice and remaining olive oil. Let the risotto rest for a few minutes, then serve, topped with the grilled asparagus, lemon zest and parmesan.