Recipe - Risotto
MethodFinely chop the onion and fry it until cooked. Add the rice and fry - add more oil if necessary. Keep on a low heat and stir constantly - we aren't making popcorn! After ten minutes (or sooner if the rice appears translucent) add the wine, and return the cooked onion to the pan. Then - and only then - can you turn the heat back up to full power! Stir well and often. Once the liquid has been used up, add half the vegetable stock. Keep stirring well and when that is used up, add the rest of the stock.
Once the last of the stock is used up, taste the rice. If it is still stiff in the middle, add a splash of boiling water, and stir again until it is all used, then taste again. The rice should be al dente, i.e. not hard in the middle, but not soft either. Once this point is reached, add a few tablespoons' worth of grated cheese and let it melt; stir again! If you want to add anything to the risotto such as beans or olives, this is the time to add them. Keep on the heat stirring for another minute or two, then take off heat and set aside for a minute before serving to allow the last of the liquid to be taken up. Serve in bowls with a little grated cheese and fresh herbs on the top.
A delicious alternative is apple and mustard - when frying the rice, add one chopped cooking apple and two teaspoons of wholegrain mustard, then use cider instead of wine, and at the end sweeten with honey if needed. Gorgeous!
Or you can make a mushroom risotto - rehydrate some dried porcini mushrooms in milk then add that instead of stock. You can also use a dash of truffle oil either in cooking or a few drips on the top of a hot bowlful when serving to enhance the aroma and flavour.
This page last updated: 07 September 2006
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