Sunday, 11 May 2014

Wild Garlic and pea Risotto

 I have to apologise profusely to my followers and regular readers, I have temporarily been on hiatus from blogging for a while, it's nothing personal, I have just been gathering a plethora of fool proof recipes before blogging, whilst running a kitchen at work and also becoming food ambassador for my area for the Jamie Oliver's foundation, so you could say that officially all my balls are in the air (excuse my lewdness)! At the start of the year I decided to spend the first month being dedicated to vegetarianism, it was a kind of cleanse after christmas, Christmas is usually a carnivores delight and I tend to become fed up of meat by january, this definitely changed my outlook on food and made me appreciate the fact that meat should be a treat and treat with respect, since then I have eaten mostly vegetarian food. Am I a vegetarian? No, absolutely not but I do feel that if we are willing to kill an animal for our consumption the very least we can do it give the animal a great life before D day. 
 The best part about our vegetarian challenge is that it automatically requires you to think outside of the box, it is all too easy to concoct a meal consisting of meat and two veg, after all we are a meat and two veg nation, a vegetarian meal require a little more thinking. 
 Currently wild garlic is in abundance in the UK and it is one of those things that most people have never tasted which I think is a real shame, in the UK we have some of the most amazing produce growing wild right on our doorstep, but due to lack of knowledge or enthusiasm we do not feel comfortable picking or foraging our own food unless it comes in a uniform plastic package!! Food never tastes better than when it is free and when you have personally picked it yourself. Wild garlic is one of those things that actually tastes even better than you imagine, the flavour is totally addictive, and works so well in my wild garlic and pea risotto.

 Please note that risotto is not a flipping side dish, it is the main dish. I believe it was Rick Stein who visited Italy and asked a local cook what was in the risotto and she replied "really good stock". That sums it up for me, great food is uncomplicated, it is about the stock and the stunning wild garlic. 
 I want to dedicate this recipe to Daniella Patrizi, our friend from afar, who inspires my love for Italian food on a daily basis, and is an avid follower of my wonderfully talented Husband Mark, this ones for you Dani.

2 large echalion shallots finely chopped
1 sticks of celery finely chopped
1  large garlic clove finely chopped
1 litre of chicken stock, if it is mild add two tsp of maldon sea-salt
50g butter to fry
1 tbsp olive oil
200g carnaroli rice
170 ml very dry white wine
75g of good parmesan
10 wild garlic leaves finely sliced
1/2 cup of frozen or fresh peas 
50g extra butter to finish
2 tsp cracked black  pepper

 Finely chop the shallots, celery and garlic and cook in 50g of butter and the olive oil until translucent.  
 Place the stock in a pan and keep in on a simmer, you should never add cold stock to the risotto. 
 Once cooked add the rice and cook the rice smells aromatic but not golden, immediately add the wine ad stir constantly until the wine evaporates.
 Add the stock a ladle at a time on a medium heat ensuring that each ladle has being absorbed before adding the next ladle of stock.
 Keep stirring with a wooden spoon, when all of the stock is absorbed add the remaining 50g of butter, the parmesan, peas and wild garlic.
 Immediately turn of the heat and continue to stir, add a little cracked black pepper and serve immediately, the texture should be a soft oozy plate of rice and NEVER a firm ball of rice.

No comments: