Making a risotto is a beautiful act of Mindfulness – slow and easy is the name of the game! Risotos are also nourishing, healthy and, if no animal products used are ideal for food combining; vegetarians; possibly vegans and also coeliacs.
Simply follow the basic recipe on the back of a packet of arborro rice – use a good vegetable stock cube and an alternative to white wine is the juice of a lemon added at the end of cooking for a delicious zesty tang!
I always start by softening chopped onion (crushed garlic too, if you wish)in a tablespoon of olive oil warmed in a large frying pan. Then I add any two * of the following ingredients – cook and stir for two minutes then tip in the rice, cook and stir for a minute then add the hot stock, a cupful at a time and simmer very slowly. As the stock is absorbed, add another cupful while stirring very slowly. After 20 -30 minutes you will have a gorgeous ‘creamy’ risotto.
Sprinkle with chopped parsley and shavings of parmesan cheese, if you wish.
* I don’t know about you too many ingredients in a dish just confuses the taste buds. However, I often include a ‘secret ingredient’ in my dishes for my guests, at Fountains Court, to ‘discover’. With mushroom recipes I often add grated nutmeg at the start of cooking, it brings out their flavour beautifully.
You can, of course, mix and match these ingredients, as many as you like – it’s your risotto – be creative! Shellfish, chicken and other strips of meat can be added, too.
Cubed aubergine; peas – best precooked and added near the end of cooking – the same goes with tinned sweetcorn; thinly sliced red, yellow peppers; thinly sliced celery; mushrooms; halved walnuts (yum); spinach – again add towards the end of cooking.