Speedy Saffron, Asparagus & Wild Garlic Rice Bowls Recipe | Abel & Cole

Speedy Saffron, Asparagus & Wild Garlic Rice Bowls

Cooking time
Serves4 people
Vegetarians Vegans Gluten-free diets
Speedy Saffron, Asparagus & Wild Garlic Rice Bowls

This seasonal rice bowl is perfect for midweek eating in spring. Simmer plump risotto rice with golden saffron and smoked paprika, then top with grilled asparagus, courgettes and sweet cherry tomatoes for a fast, veg-filled dinner.


  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • A pinch of saffron powder
  • 400g risotto rice
  • 2 courgettes
  • 200g asparagus
  • 250g cherry tomatoes
  • A handful of wild garlic
  • 1 lemon
  • 25g mixed seeds

Prep: 10 mins | Cook: 25 mins

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1. Peel and finely chop the onion. Peel and thinly slice the garlic. Drizzle 1 tbsp oil into a large pan placed on a medium heat. Slide the onion and garlic into the pan, sprinkle with 1 tsp smoked paprika and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir well and fry for 5 mins, stirring occasionally, till starting to soften.
2. Meanwhile, fill and boil your kettle. Pour 1 ltr hot water into a heatproof jug, add the saffron powder and crumble in the vegetable stock cube. Stir well till dissolved.
3. Scatter the risotto rice into the pan. Pour in the saffron stock and stir well. Bring to the boil, then cover the pan with a lid, reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook for 20 mins, till the rice is tender and has absorbed the stock.
4. Preheat your grill to high. Trim off the tops of the courgettes. Slice them into thin strips. Snap the tender asparagus spears away from their woody ends and cut the spears in half. Pop the courgettes and asparagus on a large baking tray and add the cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with 2 tbsp oil, add a good pinch of salt and pepper, and toss together.
5. When the rice is nearly ready, slide the veg under the hot grill. Grill for 3-4 mins, then remove the tray, turn the veg over and grill for a further 3-4 mins, till tender and caramelised at the edges.
6. Roughly chop the wild garlic. Finely grate the lemon zest. When the rice has cooked, add the wild garlic and zest to the pan. Add a good squeeze of lemon juice. Taste and add a little more salt and pepper or lemon juice, if you think it needs it.
7. Divide the rice between warm bowls or plates and top with the grilled veg. Scatter over the seeds and serve withextra lemon wedges for squeezing.
8. Isn't It Wild?
Wild garlic is a freshly foraged, fabulously fragrant seasonal treat you’ll definitely smell before you see. The big green leaves don’t look like your usual garlic bulb, but they certainly taste like it and they’re brilliant for adding a fragrant flavour to risottos, pasta dishes, stews, soups and salads.
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