Buckwheat, asparagus and pea risotto

Categories Cooking, Food, healthy, Recipe

Risotto has always scared me, with the fear of ending up with a stodgy mess and arm ache from constant stirring deterring me from cooking it very often. This risotto by Madeleine Shaw, however, is surprisingly easy as well as both healthy and incredibly tasty. Indulgent and filling, it’s proof that you don’t need meat for a satisfying meal.

The recipe states it serves two but I am always left with extra so I think you could easily stretch it to three. I’ve detailed the recipe below, with a few of my personal suggestions and changes.


  • 150g buckwheat
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 250ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 x 400ml can coconut milk – I used the Blue Dragon creamed coconut and made coconut milk as it was the only option in Sainsbury’s I could find without any additives
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 100g petit pois
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 25g mint leaves, chopped
  • 4 tbsp. chopped walnuts
  • Salt and pepper


1) Rinse the buckwheat in a sieve.

2) Heat a pan with the coconut oil for one minute over a medium heat, then throw in the onion and a pinch of salt. Sauté for five minutes/until the onion is lightly bronzed.

3) Add the garlic and the buckwheat to the onion and stir-fry for another minute. Pour in the stock and allow to simmer for 10 minutes with a lid on.

4) While this is simmering, open the coconut milk and separate the coconut milk from the cream. If the contents of the can are mostly solid, warm 100g of the coconut cream with 50ml water. If, like me, you used the creamed coconut, simply chop a little off before making your coconut milk and dilute that piece in a tiny amount of boiling water to make a creamy, thick consistency.

5) Boil around 200ml of water in either a steamer pan or saucepan (you can use a metal colander over the saucepan with a lid on top as an alternative to a steamer if you don’t have one) ready to steam the asparagus. Madeleine suggests doing this on top of the risotto, but I found this method easier as it allows you to continuously stir the risotto during the next stage.

6) Take the lid off the pan containing the buckwheat and onion, and gradually add the lemon zest and juice, petit pois, spring onions and coconut milk. Replace the lid and cook for around 10 minutes, until you have a thick, risotto-esque consistency. Make sure you stir it frequently, however, to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.

7) Three or four minutes before the risotto is done, put your asparagus in the steamer/colander.

8) Stir the coconut cream into the risotto with a good grind of salt and pepper.

9) Plate the risotto and scatter the mint leaves, asparagus and chopped walnuts on top.


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≈ Waterfall chaser

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