FARE EX­CHANGE

Recipes you’ve re­quested from Aus­tralia’s lead­ing restau­rants.

Gourmet Traveller (Australia) - - OCT -

Chef’s recipes you’ve re­quested.

Pea risotto with buf­falo moz­zarella and spring herbs “The pea risotto at Fico in Ho­bart is the best I’ve had. Could you please print the recipe?” Alas­dair Lyne, Bat­tery Point, Tas

SERVES 4 // PREP TIME 40 MINS // COOK 20 MINS

Use the best herbs you can find – the key to suc­cess here is va­ri­ety and fresh­ness. At Fico, the chefs use a beer vine­gar from Emilia-Ro­magna; we’ve used Cham­pagne vine­gar. Pic­tured p178. 1 kg peas, pod­ded,

shells re­served

80 ml (⅓ cup) olive oil

2 gar­lic cloves, finely chopped 100 gm carnaroli rice

150 ml dry white wine

600 ml moz­zarella whey

(see note), heated

40 gm chilled but­ter, diced 40 gm Parmi­giano-Reg­giano (prefer­ably 36 months old), finely grated plus ex­tra to serve

⅓ buf­falo moz­zarella ball, blended un­til smooth, plus ex­tra torn to serve (op­tional) 2 tsp Cham­pagne vine­gar,

or to taste

1 cup mixed spring herbs, such as thinly sliced sor­rel, fen­nel fronds, flow­er­ing chives, flat-leaf pars­ley, chervil and pea shoots Finely grated lemon rind and ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil, to serve

Fen­nel pollen (op­tional; see note), for dust­ing

1 Juice pea shells (see note) and re­frig­er­ate juice to chill. Heat half the olive oil in a large fry­ing pan over high heat and sauté peas and gar­lic un­til ten­der (2-3 min­utes). Cool, re­frig­er­ate to chill, then blend pea mix­ture with 100ml pea juice to a loose purée in a blender. Re­serve re­main­ing juice to serve.

2 Heat re­main­ing oil in a casse­role over medium-high heat. Add rice and a pinch of salt, and stir oc­ca­sion­ally un­til translu­cent and only just too hot to touch (1-1½ min­utes).

Add wine and sim­mer un­til you no longer smell al­co­hol

(1-2 min­utes). Add hot whey a la­dle at a time, stir­ring con­tin­u­ously un­til stock is ab­sorbed be­fore adding the next, un­til risotto is al dente but still wet (10-12 min­utes; add ex­tra wa­ter if nec­es­sary). Stir in but­ter, Parmi­giano-Reg­giano and pea purée. Add moz­zarella cream and stir vig­or­ously to un­til creamy (1 minute), then sea­son to taste with vine­gar, salt and pep­per.

3 To serve, spread a gen­er­ous spoon­ful of risotto on plates, scat­ter with herbs, lemon rind, ex­tra Parmi­giano-Reg­giano and torn moz­zarella, driz­zle with ex­tra pea juice and ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil and dust with fen­nel pollen.

Note Buy moz­zarella from a del­i­catessen and ask for as much whey as they can give you; if nec­es­sary top up with ex­tra wa­ter. Fen­nel pollen is avail­able from Her­bie’s Spices (her­bies.com.au). If you don’t have a juicer, blend the pea shells with a lit­tle wa­ter, then strain the juice. ●

Risotto Glass from Mont­martre Store. Plate (main) from The DEA Store. Sur­face from Di Lorenzo. All other props, stylist’s own. Stockists p175.

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