Baked Asparagus and Spinach Risotto

This simple risotto is great for nights where you feel like something fast and “meatless”. Though it is almost vegetarian (just switch the chicken stock to vegetable stock), it is chock full of flavour. A risotto dish typically requires one to stand in front of the stove patiently stirring and adding ladles of hot stock. This one does not require much patience as you just need to pop it into the oven. Both my husband and 18 month old daughter loved it!

Serves 4
Adapted from Patricia Well’s Trattoria

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
2 cups low sodium chicken stock (or vegetable stock if preferred)
1 cup thawed, chopped frozen spinach, packed
10 spears fresh asparagus, cut into thin diagonal slices
salt to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. In a deep skillet, saute onion in olive oil until translucent.
  3. Add the rice, stirring to coat with the oil.
  4. Add chicken stock, spinach and asparagus and bring to simple over moderate heat.
  5. Stir in half the cheese.
  6. Add salt to taste (I don’t usually add salt)
  7. Transfer to casserole and smooth out the top.
  8. Sprinkle remaining parmesan on top.
  9. Cover the casserole
  10. Bake in the centre of the oven for 35 – 40 minutes, or until rice is cooked through.
  11. Serve immediately.

Pork wrapped asparagus with sesame seeds

My mom-in-law gave us two thick stalks of asparagus today. I decided to make use of some of the left over ingredients that we had to make something rather unique.

What’s that you ask? Well, it’s asparagus wrapped with thinly sliced pork and coated with sesame seeds. These are baked for just 5-10 minutes and they’re really very good. One bite into the asparagus and you taste a varety of flavours. The fragrance of the roasted sesame seeds blended with the pork and the juiciness of the asparagus. Yums. I will definitely do this again, maybe with white sesame seeds.

12 stalks of asparagus (regular sized ones)
12 thin pieces of pork (substitute with proscuitto if you like)
1 cup of flour
1 cup of white/black sesame seeds
1 egg, beaten


  1. Wash and dry asparagus and remove skin of bottom half if necessary. If asparagus is too long, halve them.
  2. Coat asparagus with flour.
  3. Dip it in egg and coat evenly with sesame seeds.
  4. Place it on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes at 180°C.
  6. Serve with mayonnaise or wasabi mayonnaise.

Pan-seared scallops with Mushrooms and Asparagus Puree

I made this dish for dinner when mom came over on the eve of National Day. It was a recipe adapted from Thomas Keller’s “The French Laundry Cookbook”. Soft and tender pan-seared scallops accompanied by mushrooms and asparagus puree. This dish has a myriad of interesting flavours and textures. Everything turned out really tasty and mom raved about it. Dinner was completed with a serving of homemade passion fruit ice-cream with dark chocolate ganache.


Pan-seared scallops with Mushrooms and Asparagus Puree
Serves: 2
  • 10 stalks of asparagus
  • ¾ cup chicken stock
  • 6-8 brown button mushrooms, chopped into cubes
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small sprig of thyme
  • 2 cloves of garlic, meshed and finely chopped
  • ½ tablespoon chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon cubed tomatoes
  • 8 medium sized scallops
  • Canola oil
  • white pepper and sea salt to taste
  1. Trim away the bottom ⅓ of the asparagus. Cut 1.5 inch long tips from the spears and reserve the stalks.
  2. Blanch the tips in boiling water till just tender and remove to an ice-water bath. Blanch the stalks in boiling water till fully cooked and remove to an ice-water bath.
  3. Puree the stalks in a blender with just enough stock for them to turn. Alternatively, use a hand-held blender.
  4. Pour the puree into a fine sieve and allow to stand for 5 to 10 min to allow the excess liquids to drain. Set aside.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a saute pan. When hot, add mushrooms, thyme and garlic. Add the shallot and cook for another minute or so. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
  6. Warm the asparagus tips with the tomatoes and 1 tablespoon of butter over low heat. In a small saucepan, warm the asparagus puree and whisk in the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Season both with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
  7. In a skillet, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Dry the scallops and season with salt, place them on the pan. Cook the scallops for only a minute or so on each side, or until they're golden browned. Do not overcook them or they'll become tough and stringy.
  8. To serve, place a spoonful of puree on each plate. Centre a spoonful of mushroom mixture over it and top with the scallops. Arrange the asparagus tips and tomatoes over the scallops.