This recipe, like probably everything I decide to cook, isn't very hard but it's probably not something you're going to make if you're in a hurry. It's supposed to take about forty minutes to an hour, but I'm always very slow when I'm working with unfamiliar items, so it took me considerably longer. I believe that the end result was alright -- I raced out the door to Zumba five minutes after I finished cooking, so I only got to taste test a little, but I didn't hear any complaints from the family which is good.
It's also vegetarian-friendly, if you're the type that's happy to eat cheese and butter. If you're not, it's obviously not going to be for you.
Here are all the delicious things you need. I ended up not using everything, but this was partly because I forgot. The good thing about these ingredients is that they're very general products. You won't need anything that comes only from a specialty store!
|Why can't you just have "white wine" written somewhere?|
Ah, wine. My cooking nemesis. It took me ten minutes to locate this thing in my pantry, and another five to make sure that it actually was white wine. Unfortunately, I also had the misfortune to see that the website I called listed it as "sparkling wine". That means fizzy, right? I didn't know that wine came in fizzy forms -- but then again, I didn't know that chardonnay was wine at all. You should've seen the fun I had opening this thing.
|It wouldn't be a Wednesday Weekly without my making a mess of something.|
|I even made a mess of the onions.|
|A great example of me just grabbing whatever jug says "two cups" on it, and not using one of a more suitable size.|
On the left is the pot that I was making the risotto in, and on the right is the pot I had the stock in. Take my advice: don't do it this way. It will take you longer to cook the risotto, and funnily enough, you'll be more prone to making mistakes.
The problem with having the stock in a big pot is that when you're scooping up 1/3 cup measurements to add to the rice, you'll quickly be scooping up such a small amount of stock that you'll naïvely think that there's only a small amount left.
And you'll decide to just dump the rest of it into the smaller pot.
|"Come on, rice, ABSORB FASTER!"|
See what I mean? This is probably a little more than 1/3 cup.
|The end result: one delicious batch of risotto.|
- I only used one red onion. I'm not a fan of onion in general, although I don't mind cooking with red onion from time to time. For me, one was enough.
- I left out the celery entirely.
- The original recipe calls for the grated rind of one lemon, plus a tablespoon of lemon juice; I'd forgotten to double this, but I found when taste testing that it really was enough. Doubling the lemon may have overpowered the dish, so you might want to think about only using half for the original.
- The recipe calls for dry white wine but, not being a drinker, I don't know what this means. The wine I used was sparkling, but I don't think it really had any impact on the dish overall.
- Only parmesan cheese was used in this recipe, but use pecorino if you can afford it -- it's beautiful.
- Two bunches of basil gave me roughly two cups.
- Also, fresh basil is annoying to tear and big clumps of green leaves aren't the most appealing thing in the world. If you can get your hands on basil paste, I would suggest using that instead. You'll only need a tablespoon or two, and you'll get a much more pleasant texture through your food.
- I accidentally forgot the ricotta!
Lemon, Basil & Ricotta RisottoServes 4.
- 1L (4 cups) salt-reduced vegetable stock
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 celery sticks, finely chopped (optional to me)
- 300g Arborio rice
- 250ml (1 cup) dry white wine
- 1 lemon, rind finely grated
- 1 tbs lemon juice
- 40g (1/2 cup) finely grated pecorino or parmesan
- 50g butter, chopped
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
- 100g fresh ricotta, crumbled
- Finely grated pecorino or parmesan, to serve
- Bring the stock just to the boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to low and hold at a gentle simmer.
- Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and celery. Stir for 10 minutes or until soft. Increase heat to medium. Add rice. Stir for 1 minute or until grains are slightly glassy. Add wine and stir until absorbed.
- Add 80ml (1/3 cup) of stock to rice mixture. Stir until liquid is absorbed. Add stock, 80ml (1/3 cup) at a time, stirring constantly and allowing liquid to be absorbed before adding more. Continue for 20 - 25 minutes or until the rice is tender yet firm and risotto is creamy.
- Remove from heat. Stir in lemon rind, juice, pecorino and butter. Season. Cover and set aside for 2 minutes to rest. Stir in the basil and divide among plates. Sprinkle with the ricotta and extra pecorino.