I cannot take credit for this recipe – my friend Andrew hosted a bunch of us in his lovely home and on a beautiful Saturday morning presented me with the¬†ingredients and his idea. We cooked together and caught up over a glass of wine and fed everyone this amazing risotto. He brought over most of the ingredients from his current home in London, including fresh herbs from his garden. We had a little laugh over that:
It’s not often that I get to cook with a fellow foodie and friend in such a gorgeous environment. It was truly an afternoon to remember ūüôā
You will need:
– Arborio or Carnaroli rice, about 100g per person – we had 6 mouths to feed that day so the following proportions make 6 portions
– 1 very large or 2 medium onions
– 3-5 cloves of garlic according to taste
– 1 glass of white wine
– ¬†1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
– 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
– 2-3 bay leaves
– approx. 700ml stock (make your own like this)
– a couple of knobs of butter (thrown into the skillet with such stealth that I barely had time to protest, but hey it was a delicious result)
– 3 tablespoons olive oil
– zest of one lemon
– juice of 2 lemons (that’s about 50ml because it largely depends on how juicy the lemons are, but add this in small amounts until you achieve the desired taste)
– salt to taste (do use the Himalayan variety, it’s better for your health!)
Cherry tomatoes which have been halved and roasted with some olive oil, salt and a small sprinkle of sugar
Almonds – dry roasted and crushed or chopped
Prepare your cherry tomatoes in a flat oven dish and place in the oven to roast whilst you start cooking. Place the almonds in a separate dish to roast or cook them quickly in a dry pan for a few minutes.
Heat up the olive oil and start cooking your onions. Add the first knob of butter to stop them from browning. When they are translucent add the garlic. You know the deal with risotto – you’re going to be stirring almost continuously and there’s no reason not to start now! Add the thyme, bay leaves and rosemary as well as the lemon zest.
Add your rice and stir, then add the wine.¬†It’s a good idea to keep your stock on low heat so as not to cool down the risotto as you cook. You’re going to be adding the stock one ladle at a time, waiting until almost all the liquid is absorbed before adding more. The rice will take between 20-30 minutes to cook so start tasting it after adding almost 500 ml of your stock.
And somewhere in between you will add a knob of butter, won’t you?
When your rice is almost cooked you need to taste several times to add salt and lemon juice until you get the desired result. We wanted strong tastes so the lemon juice got all used up and then added salt to counterbalance some of that sharpness. Don’t forget to remove the bay leaves before¬†plating.
Finally serve with crushed almonds and roasted cherry tomatoes. And a crisp glass of cold white wine. Sunshine always helps ūüôā
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