Thursday, 23 August 2012

risotto risotto, i love you risotto


following on from my that's not how you do it aunty jan post where i said i'd share the recipe for stinging nettle risotto - it is finally here.

Remember stinging nettles sting, hence the name probably and you will require some special tools such as a pair of scissors and some thick gardening gloves to prepare the first part.  come on, be a devil and live on the stinging nettle edge....

so you will need
  • stinging nettles. a big bag of them. (available from a market or in some gardens or derelict parks) and if you can't get them, then you are fucked really and there would be no point going on reading. but feel free to adapt and use some other exotic item like a pumpkin.
  • a knob of butter
  • a big splash of olive oil
  • an onion
  • a clove of garlic
  • arborio rice
  • white wine and lots of it
  • stock (vege is my stock of choice) this way there is no competition between the veg and non veg.  a largish saucepan will work for this and you can always add more stock as you go along if you start to run low.  But, it needs to be hot.
  • salt & pepper
  • more wine
first up take all the leaves off the nettles using the gloves and scissors.  i didn't use the stems at the bottom of the leaves, but did use the softer top bits.

once done, you need to blanch them.  you can give them a rinse in a colander if you like but DON'T TAKE THE GLOVES OFF TILL DONE. either put them in a boiling pan of water for about 30 seconds, or submerge them in a dish of boiling water from the kettle.  This was the easier way.
drain them and then you need to put them in a wizzer and make a kind of paste adding a bit of water if needed.  it doesn't need to be a runny puree though.

heat the stock till boiling in a large saucepan then keep on a simmer
while that's happening, dice the onion and peel the garlic
once the stock is boiled or nearly boiling you can kick off with the rest
using a deep style frypan or specialised risotto pan (like the fancy one below) add the butter and oil.

once it's melted, add the onion and fry, then add the clove of garlic.
when the onion is a bit soft and browned, add the rice.  now there's no measure for this that i use, but you start with a cup or so.
once the rice looks all glistening and covered in oil (after a couple of minutes) add a big splosh of wine - at least a cup full and it will sizzle and fizz then start to evaporate.
give it a bit of a stir, then the fun starts.  add a bit of salt and pepper and once the wine has evaporated, it's time to start adding the stock.
NB: this is when the extra wine comes in, cause risotto is just like the ocean - you never turn you back on it and you will probably need a full glass to drink while doing the stirring part
using a soup ladle, start to spoon a ladle full into the risotto
NB2: i know it's all looking complicated, but go with it
keep the risotto on the move as much as possible (ie - stir) the liquid will evaporate and once it has, it's time to add more stock.  no brainer really, but keep on doing this
after about 10 minutes, add the nettle mix.
and the vibrant green will mesmerise you.

so quite simply, keep on doing this adding, stirring, waiting and sipping business till the rice is cooked.
it's probably going to take about 20 - 25 mins in total to be ready, but well worth the wait.
once the rice is cooked, but not gluggy - just a bit creamy - it's ready to go.  It should not be runny at all
you can always add more butter in at the end if you want.
serve it up and add a bit pf Parmesan and enjoy with whatever salad you fancy.

if it fails, then sorry, not my problem, but if it's awesome, then hell yeah, i'll take all the credit.
Sooooo, if you can't get the nettles but still want to try risotto, then use the same method, but add finely diced pumpkin, or grated carrot, or even beetroot when you start to fry the onions.

good luck - and happy risottoing.
Thank you for reading and may i draw your attention to the overuse of the word 'once' in this tasty post

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