Monday, August 17, 2009
Mum and I made this recipe about a month ago for my brother Jesse on his birthday. We served it with salad from the garden and some roasted veggies. Jesse and his wife Jessica are both vegetarians so Mum always has a little panic about feeding them, it usually turns out a bit eclectic but great in the end.
Don't be intimidated by risotto, its really easy to make, you just have to use common sense and keep tasting so you know to when its cooked or needs more stock. And keep stirring!
Ingredients: (Serves 4)
2 or 3 bunches of asparagus cut into inch-long chunks
400g Arborio rice
3 tbsp olive oil OR 2 oz butter
1 large wine glass full of dry white wine
1 L/1 3/4 pints good hot vegetable sock (or chicken stock if your not a veggie)
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
3 or 4 sticks of celery, very finely chopped
100g Sundried tomatoes, finely chopped
Grated parmesan cheese to top
Finely chop the onion and the garlic. Melt the butter/heat the oil in a heavy bottomed frying pan. Saute the onion, celery and garlic until translucent. Don't allow it to brown. This is easier if you have a lid for your pan. Add the finely chopped sundried tomatoes, followed by the rice and stir to mix everything well.
Keep your stock warm in a pot on the stove next to your pan. Add the wine to the rice and stir until almost all the liquid is absorbed. make sure the heat is not too high, it should just be gently bubbling. After this, add a ladle of the stock at a time and stir between each addition until the liquid is almost absorbed. After about 20 mins the rice will be almost cooked. It might not be necessary to use all the stock so keep tasting the rice. When it feels almost done to you, stop adding stock. It should be nicely moist, and a touch under cooked (even if you like it al dente). Then add your asparagus and one last ladle full of stock. Stir everything together until the asparagus is bright green and the stock has almost absorbed again (don't let it get too dry). remove from the heat so that no more of the liquid evaporates. You can finish it at this point by mixing in a few knobs of butter and/or some cheese (parmesan is good but you can use a few different ones, whatever you have left over in the fridge) Alternatively, like we did you can be more healthy and just finish by stirring in a good dollop of olive oil. Check the seasoning now and and add some salt and pepper if necessary. Then sprinkle with a grated parmesan.
You can make the basic risotto (risotto bianco) by forgoing the tomatoes and just using the butter, garlic and onion.
Other great combinations for risotto include:
quatro formaggio (4 cheeses, whichever ones you like!)
Blue cheese and herbs such as sage or rosemary
dried/ wild mushrooms (nicer if you use a beef stock)
home made pesto