When I was a child, I truly hated risotto. It was only overcooked rice and it taste horrible. I thought that risotto is a mistake in the kitchen or some leftovers. I didn’t realize that this dish is very complex and not so easy to cook. I appreciated this dish later- for it’s meticulous and complex preparation. You need to feel the moment of gaining prefect structure of risotto, it has to be creamy!
Now, a risotto is a dish which shows patience and accuracy. Proportions are the key to good risotto. You can not add to much stock. And the broth itself has to be aromatic, balanced and intense. And good frying of onion and garlic is essential. There is so much things to do, that in my case cooking risotto is a ritual.
There are so many version of risotto, where classic arborio rice is replaced by other grains. There are really delicious and sometime more nutritive, but when you start your cooking adventure with risotto, I recommend using arborio. It’s just easier to handle cooking with it. It’s deigned for risotto- short grained, when cooked it’s al dente inside and creamy, chewy outside. All thanks to higher amount of amylopectin starch.
How to cook good risotto:
1. First you need to fry onion and garlic until translucent in the oil or vegan butter.
2. Next you add exact amount of rice, stir and fry for about 1 minute, until rice is translucent. Oil coating rice prevents from loosing too much starch. If too much starch came out risotto will be to chewy.
3. Pour in the white wine and cook until fluid are absorbed.
4. Do the same thing with first and second portion of broth. Remember that the broth has to be hot. Stir from time to time. If you stir to much the rice will broke. On the other hand of you not sir, your risotto won’t be creamy, because when you stir the starch come out from the rice. Add second batch when the first is completely absorbed.
5. After adding third portion of broth, we are more careful. When the risotto is creamy turn off the heat. Risotto on a plate should slowly moves when you move the plate, like lava.
For a perfect sprig-summer risotto I chose to add my beloved green asparagus and addictive fava beans. Simple, not overhelming composition with the delicate almond and parsley taste.
with fava beans and silvered almonds
2 cups arborio rice
1 450 ml vegetable broth from this recipe
60ml (¼ cup) white wine
3 tbsp vegan butter or canola oil
2-3 cloves garlic
500g thin green asparagus (1 bunch)
450g fava beans (about 2 ½ cup)
1 cup slivered almonds (about 100g)
1 bunch of fresh parsley leaves (30g)
salt, pepper, lemon juice
large pot of ice cold water
Cook broth from this recipe.
In a large pot bring water to a boil, add salt and pinch of sugar. Add fava beans. Cook for about 10-20 minutes. Strain and set aside to cool down. Peel from the skins.
Cut out the woody parts. Cut the asparagus in a 2-3 cm pieces. In a large pot bring water to a boil, again with salt and pinch of sugar. Put asparagus into boiling water just fro 3 minutes. Strain and immediately put the into ice cold water. Strain after 3 minutes and set aside.
Toast silvered almonds on the frying pan until golden.
Heat the broth, but don’t boil it.
In a large pot heat the 3 tbsp of butter or oil. Add finely chopped onion and garlic. Sweat the until translucent (6-8 minutes), Add the rice and mix well. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until toasted aroma rises, about 1 minute. Add the wine and cook until dry.
Add 500 ml of hot broth and cook, stirring from time to time, until the rice absorb the stock. Repeat twice with 500ml and 450 ml of stock, allowing each to be absorbed before adding the next. With a last portion cook it until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. The risotto should be creamy. Add silvered almonds and chopped parsley at the end (leave a little for decoration). Season with salt and pepper.
Put risotto on the plates. Lay fava beans and asparagus on top. Sprinkle remaining almonds and parsley. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
Asparagus risotto (whole):
3 361 calories
proteins: 115 g; fat: 90 g; carbohydrates: 528 g, fiber: 58,4 g;
iron: 16 mg; calcium: 594mg; zinc: 10 mg
proteim: 16,4 g; fat: 12,8 g; carobohydrates: 75,5 g, fiber: 8,3 g;
iron: 2,3 mg; calcium: 84mg; zinc: 1,25 mg