Earthy & Autumnal
A Risotto for the Season
Today: Happy Birthday to My Sister, Beccy, in Ireland!
This risotto is adapted from a recipe I learnt, recently, at the wonderful Tante Marie Cooking School. I have wanted to recreate it at home ever since and Fall is the prefect time to make it. This isn't a dish where all the flavours come together, rather the opposite. Each forkful tastes slightly different which keeps it interesting. One second my mouth is exploding with sage, the next mouthful I detect the distinctive ashy-tasting bacon from The Fatted Calf. Another bite reveals the earthy flavours of the Swiss Chard leaves, followed by a piece of crunchy apple. (Apple courtesy of Elise from Simply Recipes who grows them in her garden and kindly gave me a huge bag of homegrown goodies). The recipe is fairly labour intensive. The secret is to have all of the ingredients ready and prepped before you start cooking and an open bottle of wine and glass by your side to keep you occupied through the stirring stage.
Autumnal Risotto (Serves 6).
1/4 cup of green lentils, cooked
1/2 Acorn squash, peeled, cubed and simmered until tender
6 cups of chicken stock, warmed in a saucepan
3 tablespoons butter
6 rashers of diced bacon
2 large cloves of garlic, minced.
1 small shallot, minced.
2 cups Riso Carnaroli
1 cup dry white wine.
1 tightly-packed cup of finely shredded Swiss Chard leaves
1 Granny Smith Apple, peeled and diced.
1/4 cup parmesan, freshly grated.
1 tablespoon minced sage leaves.
Salt & Pepper, to taste.
Melt a third of the butter in a large saucepan and add the garlic, shallot and bacon. Sweat together over a medium/low heat until soft and the shallot is transparent. Add the rice and mix together well, until all of the grains are coated. Pour in the wine and simmer until the liquid reduces to almost nothing. Increase the heat to Medium and make sure your pot of warm chicken stock is in easy reach, right next to your rice pan. Using a ladle, add one spoonful of stock at a time to the rice, stirring all the time. Once the liquid has been absorbed into the rice, add another spoonful and keep stirring. Continue, for about half an hour, until all of the stock has been absorbed and the rice is soft with a little bite. Immediately add the diced apple, shredded Swiss Chard, pre-cooked lentils and squash to the rice. Stir. Finish with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, sage and grated parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste, stir well to blend and serve straight away.
PS. Experiment using different types of squash, lentils, greens and apples. And be warned - you may not like it. Fred, for example, was turning up his nose at it. Thank goodness, then, for my friend Hans who came round for dinner too. He finished off two huge helpings with gusto and annihilated my entire collection of home-baked almond macaroons.
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posted in Food | Eat Local | Recipes | Recipe | Cooking Earthy & Autumnal