I love risotto - it is my favourite comfort food of all time. The first taste was at Toni Sassi's in Melbourne and it was creamy and luscious and perfectly Italian. I then had the fortune of learning how to cook it in Italy and I have been cooking it ever since. I still use Arborio rice though the latest fad is to buy the Vialone rice (you don't need to, though of course you can). The latest idea is also to add all the stock and take away the "ladle by ladle and stirring" but to me that takes away from the whole romance of risotto - and as I learned to stir it and lovingly add the stock bit by bit, that is how I still cook it. This is a simple and light risotto - great for spring dishes or just perfect for a light lunch topped with micro-herbs and lashings of parmesan.
- 2 Tbs Olive Oil
- 2 sticks celery very finely chopped
- 2 shallots very finely chopped
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 300 g arborio rice
- 1 litre vegetable stock warmed in a saucepan
- 1 - 2 lemons zest and juice
- 1/3 cup cream
- 1/4 cup parmesan grated
Heat the olive oil in a heavy based deep frypan. (I often use a wok)
Add the celery and shallots and cook until almost melted into the oil - so that they are very soft.
Add the rice and stir to coat with the oil - 1 minute.
Add the white wine and cook to reduce to a syrup - about 2-3 minutes.
Use a soup ladle and add one ladle full of stock from the warm saucepan into the rice at a time. You stir the rice and allow it to absorb the stock. Once it is fully absorbed then you add another ladle full of stock. If you run out of stock and the rice is not fully cooked you can add some extra stock or hot water until the rice is cooked but retains a cook bite.
Add in the lemon juice and zest to taste.
Stir in the cream and the grated parmesan and serve immediately.
This is wonderful served as a started in Chinese spoons and topped with extra shaved parmesan. It is also a lovely accompaniment to salmon, chicken or duck and with a little snow pea salad on the side