The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #165215   Message #4069495
Posted By: Steve Shaw
24-Aug-20 - 06:56 PM
Thread Name: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
Yes, I know what orzo means, Maggie! That's a very interesting idea, though I'm best, with my limited skills, trying to keep things simple...

I thought I'd try the stripped-down traditional version of risotto that the Italians call risotto bianco. Jamie Oliver suggests using pesto added at the end. I made my own pesto but I departed considerably from his risotto recipe. I don't need celery or garlic, thanks. And I don't make risottos with olive oil, just butter, but that's just me. So here's what I did...

For the pesto I picked a great big bunch of basil from my garden. Maybe three big handfuls of leaves, stalks removed. That went into my whizzer with a SMALL clove of garlic and a handful of pine nuts, which I'd toasted gently first. The mix was a bit thick and dry, but I managed it after a couple of scrapings. That went into a bowl, to which I added a handful of freshly-grated Parmesan. I dribbled in my very best extra virgin olive oil a bit at a time, stirring all the time. A bit more cheese, a bit more oil, until I was happy with the slightly sloppy texture. It did need a bit of salt.

For the risotto, I made about a pint and a half of vegetable stock in advance (a mix of carrots, celery, onion, bay leaf, thyme and parsley, boiled for two hours). I used my smaller Le Creuset casserole. A big knob of butter went in, followed by two banana shallots, chopped roughly. After about ten minutes on low, I threw in 275g carnaroli rice and turned up the heat. Once the rice was coated and toasted I threw in a small glass of very decent Italian white wine. That was boiled for a couple of minutes in order to get the alcohol out. Then I threw in 600 ml hot stock. You have to stir for a couple of minutes to prevent sticking, but, after that, put the lid on and simmer at a low heat for 15 minutes. No stir! Have faith! I do tend to season in steps as I go along, but do your own thing. It does need salt.

After 15 minutes, turn up the heat slightly then beat the living daylights out of your risotto for about three minutes. Make sure your grains are firm but not chalky, the death of any risotto. You need to take the pan off the heat, then add a big knob of butter and a a handful of freshly-grated Parmesan. Once that's done, ladle the grub into bowls, add a dessert spoon of pesto, scatter a few basil leaves, sprinkle with Parmesan and bob's your uncle. It doesn't hurt to wait for a few minutes...