Le­mon risotto with rocket and rocket flow­ers

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - THE CUT / THE FOOD -

Serves 6 I love this with or be­fore a fish course, or with sal­ads on a warm evening. I have in­cluded rocket flow­ers (if you grow rocket, the white flow­ers with fine dark veins that ap­pear when the plant ‘bolts’), but vi­o­las and marigold pe­tals can also be used – or no flow­ers at all.

— 2 tbsp but­ter, plus ex­tra

to fin­ish the cook­ing — 1 onion, finely chopped — 180g risotto rice

(carnaroli or ar­bo­rio) — 100ml white wine — 1.5 litres chicken or veg­etable stock, sim­mer­ing in a pan — 120g Grana Padano, Parme­san or pecorino cheese, freshly grated — zest and juice of 2 lemons — 4 hand­fuls of wild rocket

and flow­ers, if avail­able

Melt the but­ter in a large shal­low pan and add the onion. Cook gen­tly over a medium-low heat un­til soft, but not coloured. Add the rice and sauté it gen­tly for two min­utes, stir­ring. Add the wine and let it bub­ble. It will be ab­sorbed into the rice.

Keep­ing the tem­per­a­ture of the pan medium-low, add two ladle­fuls of the sim­mer­ing stock to the pan. Let it bub­ble and be­come ab­sorbed, then add more stock. Con­tinue like this un­til the rice swells and slowly cooks while more and more stock is ab­sorbed.

Af­ter about 20-25 min­utes bite into a grain of rice or cut it – if it is still raw in the cen­tre, con­tinue adding stock and cook­ing. When the raw cen­tre is just a speck of opaque white, add a lit­tle stock – so the risotto has a soupy con­sis­tency – then add half the cheese, an­other ta­ble­spoon­ful of but­ter and the le­mon zest and juice.

Turn off the heat – the le­mon does not ben­e­fit by fur­ther cook­ing and needs to taste re­ally fresh. Sea­son with salt and pep­per to taste, then scat­ter over the rocket and flow­ers, if us­ing, then serve with the re­main­ing cheese on the side.

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