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Piedmont Risotto Verde

This Risotto is an illustration of bringing a traditional dish into the present. What I discovered in the Piedmont region, is there is always more sauce then rice in a risotto. It is usually plated in a flat mound in a shallow plate with a rim. It is also served as a first course.




Season : Spring

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes


Serves 4


Ingredients

1 1/2 cup arborio rice

5-6 cups plant based broth

1 onion, small chop

2 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1/2 white wine

1 tsp. sea salt

1 cup parmigiano reggiano, grated

half dozen asparagus spears, thinly sliced


Verde Puree Method ~

2 cups celery leaves, blanched

2 cup parsley leaves, blanched

1/2 cup herbs, grown in your area,

optional

1/2 lemon, zested

salt &pepper to taste

1/2 cup high quality extra virgin olive oil

1 cup crem'e fraiche, or mascarpone, optional



Method for Risotto ~

Melt the butter and olive oil in a large sauté pan, add the onion, and cook over low to medium heat for 5-7 minutes (stirring often) Season with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt.


Add the rice, and stir throughly. Cook rice for 4-5 minutes. We want to toast the rice slightly.

Add the white wine to the rice, cook until it is mostly absorbed into the rice.


Begin by pouring 1cup of broth.  ( keep the broth warm on the stove top) Simmer until broth is almost absorbed, while stirring it into the rice. Keep heat on low -medium and add 1/2 cups of broth slowly until all or almost all 6 cups are entirely absorbed into the rice.


Taste the rice after 20 minutes of cooking. You want the rice to be tender to the bite, but firm. Al Dente. It takes about 30 minutes to cook.


When the rice has reached a tender but firm consistency fold in the parmigiano reggiano cheese.

Take the risotto off the heat. Then fold in the Verde puree. Taste for seasoning.

Layer the top of the Risotto with thin asparagus stalks, over lapping, but leaving the edges of Risotto exposed. Fold in the lemon zest.  

Save some herbs for garnish around the Risotto.


Verde Method ~

Remove all the stems from the leaves of the herbs.

Place the leaves in salted water, barely boiling, for 20 seconds. Place the leaves in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Strain the leaves, removing all the water.

Blend the leaves, olive oil, salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon with an immersion blender, or small food processor. Blend until smooth.

If using, add creme Fraiche, or mascarpone, and blend again. Taste for seasoning. Set aside. The puree gets folded into the risotto at the end.


Cooks note : What made this dish so flavorful, and delicate, was the use of asparagus in their season. In addition to using local fresh herbs, picked at their peak of flavor.

A dish is only as good as it's ingredients.



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