June 06, 2010

Risotto Love

I discovered risotto only a few years ago. It’s one of those dishes, that, I don’t know why, I had never eaten before and wasn’t particularly attracted to. Also, to me it felt like a complicated dish to make.  How wrong I was. I can’t remember how I actually started to eat risotto, but what I can say is that since then, it has become probably one of my favourite dishes. When we go to the restaurant, it is now a dish that Luke and I choose very often. And what is great is that you can have all sorts of different flavours and ingredients used, so that the dish is never the same.

And one day I finally thought that I should have a go at cooking risotto myself. And when I did it for the first time (this was around last November)...surprise! I found that it was actually pretty easy to cook. The key, I discovered, is to be patient, and stay at the pan while cooking it. 
Now not only do we enjoy risotto at the restaurant, but also at home. The other day I felt like eating one with these crunchy green vegetables you can find at this time of year. That was my green spring risotto.

Spring Green Risotto – Serves 4

  • 100g butter
  • 100ml dry vermouth
  • 1.5L hot vegetable stock
  • 300g Arborio rice
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 150g green asparagus tips, chopped
  • 150g fresh peas
  • 150g baby spinach
  • 5 spring onions, chopped
  • A bunch of fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 100g Parmesan, grated
  • Salt, pepper
  1. Melt half of the butter in a large saucepan and fry the onion and garlic gently for about 5min. Add the rice and mix well.
  2. Start by adding one ladle of vegetable stock and keep mixing until the liquid is absorbed. Add ladle after ladle each time the liquid is absorbed by the rice and mixing all the time to make sure the rice does not stick to the pan. It should take about 20-25min for the rice to be cooked.
  3. After that time, add the dry vermouth and the green vegetables and carry on cooking for another 5min, mixing all the time.
  4. Take off the heat, season with salt and pepper and add the remaining butter and the Parmesan. Mix well. Cover with a lid and leave to stand for 5min before serving into bowls. Sprinkle with a little more Parmesan and the chopped mint.
Risotto vert de printemps – pour 4 personnes

  • 100g de beurre
  • 100ml de vermouth sec
  • 1,5L de bouillon de légumes chaud
  • 300g de riz Arborio
  • 1 oignon, finement émincé
  • 1 gousse d’ail, finement émincée
  • 150g de pointes d’asperges vertes, coupées en morceaux
  • 150g de petits pois frais
  • 150g de pousses d’épinards
  • 5 oignons de printemps, émincés
  • 1 poignée de menthe fraîche, hachée
  • 100g de Parmesan râpé
  • Sel et poivre
  1. Faire fondre la moitié du beurre dans une grande casserole et y faire revenir doucement l’oignon et l’ail pendant environ 5min. Ajouter le riz et bien mélanger.
  2. Ajouter une louche de bouillon et continuer à mélanger jusqu’à ce que le liquide soit absorbé. Ajouter les louches de bouillon progressivement, louche par louche, chaque fois que le riz a absorbé le liquide, et remuer tout le temps, de façon à ce que le riz n’attache pas au fond de la casserole. Cela devrait prendre 20-25min.
  3. Une fois le riz cuit, ajouter le vermouth sec et les légumes verts et faire cuire pendant encore 5min en remuant sans arrêt.
  4. Retirer du feu, assaisonner avec du sel et du poivre et ajouter le reste du beurre et le Parmesan. Bien mélanger. Couvrir avec un couvercle et laisser reposer pendant 5 min. Servir dans des bols et saupoudrer de menthe et de Parmesan.

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