Sunday, 13 May 2012

The Food Of The Gods: RISOTTO

Or the god of students anyway. But when life kicks you in the teeth there is nothing you can do but try and cook (and eat) your way out of it, and use it as an excuse to indulge in things like butter which you normally try not to have too much of.

And so, risotto is a natural choice. Especially when you just so happen to have made up a new recipe for one a few weeks ago which was the best ever. Win.

I'm going to vaguely call this 'green vegetable risotto'. I made enough for five people (note: Zosia believes this was more like enough risotto for eight people. Bryony loves to feed the world. Just sayin. :D), as there were three of us and I wanted some leftovers (the amazing things made with said leftovers will be posted in the next few days, so stay tuned folks). Soooo, I used:

- 1 large onion
- 1 medium-sized leek
- 4/5 spring onions
- 2 cloves garlic
- a good handful of French beans
- 375g/15oz arborio rice (75g/3oz per person)
- 2 glasses of white wine
- 1 1/2 litres veg. stock (75g rice = 375ml stock)
- approx. 100g parmesan, to taste
- and the SECRET INGREDIENT. Which is, one Tesco Finest green vegetable side dish. It sounds unimpressive, but everything in there is beautiful and it's miles cheaper than buying all the vegetables separately - plus it comes with the most gorgeous herb butter. Trust.

 Put some olive oil in a pan, and add a generous knob of butter. Chop up your leek, onion, spring onions and garlic and throw them in. Let them soften for about 5 minutes, then add your French beans.

Add the rice and stir to coat, then pour in the wine and simmer until slightly reduced. Now begins the epic stock-adding mission. As annoying as it is, stock should be added a ladle-full at a time, and the rice should have completely absorbed it before any more stock is added - meaning that you will be doing this for about 45 minutes. You also need to stir your risotto relatively regularly or it will stick, so pull up a chair and put some music on, and think of it as a work-out for your arm.

The 'Parmesan Grating Stance'

The strange 'before stock' stage

Once all the stock is in and has been absorbed then add your Secret Ingredient - but NOT the herb butter yet. Let your risotto cook for another 5 minutes or so, then add the parmesan and herb butter, and season.

And VOILA! It is time consuming but it's so easy, and certainly worth the effort. I served it with fresh herbs to garnish and some home-made garlic bread (mix spreadable butter with a clove of garlic per person, a squirt of lemon juice and some parsley, and spread over part-baked bread. Stick it in the oven - usually for about 10 minutes, until the edges of the bread are becoming golden and the butter has melted. Heavenly.).

Check back here soon for the best 'what-to-do-with-your-left-over-risotto' recipe ever. Trust me - it's well worth it.

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