Skip to main content

Spring Risotto


Spring has given London a miss this year. Never mind that we are already well into April, it was still snowing yesterday and you can go nowhere without heavy coats and full winter gear. Thankfully, the no spring memo didn't reach the farms and the spring vegetables have been out in time. Last week's trip to farmer's market yielded asparagus and purple sprouting broccoli, both of which go into this risotto.

If you've dealt with mushy vegetables in your risottos in the past, this recipe also tell you how to get that creamy rice without overcooking the greens. And as a  bonus, there is no butter or cream anywhere so pay attention.

For half a cup of rice (which I found is enough for two servings at least), cut 4-5 stalks of asparagus in 1-inch pieces. Cut broccoli into small florets and also, if you are using the sprouting version, add leaves to the mix. Now put 1 1/2 cups of stock to heat in a saucepan. If you don't have stock, plain water will do. No really, this recipe is fine with plain water. Once the water/stock comes to a boil, drop the asparagus in. Let in cook for 3-4 minutes until it's a bit softer but still crunchy. Take the stock off heat, sieve out the asparagus and put the stock back on a simmer.

In another pan, heat a tsp of olive oil. Add broccoli and stir fry on a high heat for 2-3 minutes. Remove the broccoli and add another tsp of olive oil to the pan. Add 2 cloves of minced garlic and stir fry until it starts to brown. Now add the rice and stir it around until most grains are coated in oil. Add 1/3 cup of white wine. Once the white wine is almost absorbed in the rice, start adding the stock, 1/3 cup at a time. A good rule of thumb is to add more stock when grains of rice start popping on the surface. Keep checking after 8-10 minutes, you want the rice to be cooked through but still retain a bit. When you add the last round of stock, check for salt and add some if you need it. You will certainly need it if you used water but most stocks are quite salty anyway.

When the rice is done, stir in asparagus and broccoli. Serve with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and fresh ground black pepper.

Comments

Kim - Liv LIfe said…
Here's hoping your spring will hit soon!! Here in California we are having spring, but it's been very grey with very little sun, but like you we are having lovely farmers markets with lots of beautiful produce. Loving this risotto!!

Popular posts from this blog

Fruits of the Forest

I know there hasn't been a new recipe on these pages for a while. But worry not, I'm back with a real zinger. Earthy, creamy, crunchy - this is an appetizer that ticks all the right boxes. And if you happen to be a mushroom lover like me, this is the best way to eat mushrooms I've found so far. I present to you, for all your year end parties and appetizer cravings - creamy mushroom pate on toast.

Its mushroom pate two way - just on its own and panko-crumbed and fried. Both go on a crisp garlic baguette with watercress and some kewpie mayonnaise. Here's the recipe.

Ingredients
Crunchy garlic butter toasts (I buy them as is, but you can also slice and toast baguettes)
200 grams button mushrooms
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp cream cheese
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
kewpie mayonnaise (or regular mayonnaise)
watercress or micro herbs
salt and black pepper to taste
oil for deep frying

First, make mushroom pate. Y…

A Bowlful of Comfort

I have a friend who is quite the globetrotter. Lunches at her place, often right after her trips, are a treasure trove of global flavours. But the last time we met, she was just back from Tamil Nadu and out she brought a bowl of curd rice. I love curd rice and have eaten a lot of it over the years but my friend's version was so full of flavours and textures, it was a revelation. Obviously, I asked for the recipe.

The genius of this curd rice lies in adding the tempering or the tadka twice, once to mix in the rice so it absorbs all the flavours. Then you make a second batch to top the rice with just before you serve, so it adds crunch to the usually mushy dish. The recipe also has a few other elements added in for texture, freshness and flavour.

I over-ate at lunch at my friend's and I over-ate again when I made this for myself for lunch. Plus, all the ingredients you need are likely in your kitchen already so you may as well go make it now.

Ingredients
1/2 cup rice
1 cup plain…

Farm to Fork in Chail

Back in 19th century, when Shimla was the summer capital of India, the Maharaja of Patiala got the British rulers riled over his dalliances and got banned from entering the city. Not the one to be put down so easily, he found a tiny little town about an hour from Shimla and made Chail his very own summer capital. Today, Chail still has the impressive Palace that the Maharaja built and the highest cricket ground in the world. There really isn't much more to the city apart from a small local market and a couple of hotels that get spillover crowd from Shimla in the summers. It's a pleasant little diversion but that's not why I went to Chail. I stopped nine kilometers short of the town to make Ekam my home for a weekend.

Sumeet Singal built this house on a cliff as his own weekend home. Today, even when Ekam is open as a luxury boutique resort, the cosy homely feeling remains intact. I asked Sumeet what there was to do during my three day holiday at Ekam. He told me that ther…