Here’s the thing though – if you ever go to a posh restaurant where waitresses look like models and you sit on uncomfortable but beautiful to look at chairs, you won’t find anything vegetarian on the menu apart from mushroom risotto. And it’s always the most horrible dish you can ever try and you have to pay for it (honestly, they should pay you for making you eat it). It’s either undercooked or overcooked, looks like grey blob and is tasteless. Trust me, the only good risotto I ate was the one I had in Italy or at my sister’s.
Mmmm…Italy. Heaven for foodies and vegetarians. If I lived there I would die of gluttony…
But back to the point…Risotto is not at all difficult to make. You just need some patience and some wine. Add it to risotto, drink it while you are cooking.
If you don’t drink alcohol, you still need patience …
Here’s the recipe for one I make at least once a week. It’s Boyfriend’s favourite.
2 spoons of olive oil
knob of butter
arborio(or carnaroli) rice
few cloves of garlic
pack of washed spinach
2 pints of vegetable stock or water
half a glass of white wine
1. Warm olive oil in a pot. Always remember to make risotto on the lowest gas possible (electrical hob- between 2 and 3)
2. Add knob of butter. After it melts, add crushed garlic (if you don’t have a garlic crusher, just chop the garlic). Stir for a while, add arborio rice. If you are cooking for 2 people , half a glass will be enough, for four people a glass full of rice should be plenty.
3. Stir the rice, let the oil coat the grains. Add 1/3 glass of stock or water. To be honest, I can’t be bothered with stock and I always add water and the risotto tastes nice. Now, the important thing with cooking risotto is patience and luuurve. Well, the first one, technically speaking.
4. Don’t you ever rush to put too much liquid in. Add your water or stock gradually, stir, cover the pot, wait a few minutes till rice absorbs liquid, add some more, repeat every time. It’s good to listen to music when you are cooking risotto, to get you into the rhythm and not to get bored. Let’s face it, it’s a lot of stirring and adding water and just hanging around your dish.
5. Add a pinch of sea salt. Add some more water. When the rice starts absorbing water and it gets thicker, start adding spinach. Cover pot, wait, add some more water and more spinach, cover…
6. After you add last bit of spinach add white wine (if you don’t have wine or prefer not to add any, replace it with apple juice. I love wine and usually add more then just half of the glass).
7. Then add some pepper. Stir and wait till it absorbs liquid. If your rice is still not done you can cook longer adding liquid if you need to. If it’s nice and soft, add fresh basil and cherry tomatoes, stir, cover the pot and leave for a few minutes, pre-warm plates, serve with vegetarian parmesan shaves or grated. If you are not vegetarian, knock yourself out with real parmesan.