Thursday, 7 June 2012

Spring Vegetable Risotto

OK, this was only half spring vegetable risotto, as I cheated and used frozen peas and broad beans.  But the asparagus was freshly picked (in the rain) this afternoon by hubby, and I used beautiful fresh sweet young carrots from Riverford.  It is made in the usual way - saute a finely diced onion in a good knob of butter with a whole head of finely chopped wet garlic (much milder than maincrop, don't panic!).  Add a cup of risotto rice (I like arborio for this) and saute for another minute or two, then add 3 or 4 tablespoons of white vermouth or white wine and the finely grated zest of a lemon.  Once this is absorbed, start adding warm veg stock (Marigold is fine) in the usual way.  I cooked the veg separately and added them in with the final bit of veg stock about 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time (I slipped the grey skins off the broad beans first).  Then, whilst still a little all'onda or 'with waves' as the Italians so romantically phrase it, stir in another knob of butter, the juice of half the zested lemon and a good handful of grated Parmesan, cover with a lid and leave to settle for a minute or two - what the Italians called mantecare or 'mounting' the risotto.  Serve in warm plates or bowls with more Parmesan on top, pour a glass of something cool and white (no, NOT a glass of milk) and settle down to watch 'The Great British Menu' on The Beeb.

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