With allll the time on my hands right now, indeed like all of us for the foreseeable future, I FINALLY managed to update my recipe index on the site and realised two things:
Firstly I have cooked and tried a lot more recipes than I had thought and, secondly, most of them are centred around pasta! Not that that is a bad thing, I mean who hates pasta and it is, after all, one of the most versatile basic ingredients in terms of shapes and ways to combine it. BUT if not now then when is it ever going to be a better time to widen and improve my culinary horizon?! Which means the plan for now is to tackle recipes that have so far eluded me or scared me off a little, to prove to you guys they are more than possible to make at home and hopefully inspire you to get creative in the kitchen too!
After a bit of Pinterest brainstorming, I suddenly realised that I had never, ever made a risotto. I am not the biggest fan of rice usually, but the times I did plunge for one in a restaurant I was always left pretty impressed, yet had never made the commitment of making one at home so far, a little intimidated by the time and stirring involved to get that perfect creamy texture.
Good thing then that I stumbled across this gorgeous and surprisingly easy recipe for the most vibrant spring vegetable risotto, by one of my favourite cookery writers Alison Roman (most famous for her Insta famous 'THE STEW'), which looked so stunning I was more than willing to accept the challenge to recreate it and master my first ever risotto.
This was not only going to be my first risotto ever, it was also my first attempt at a poached egg. Why had I never attempted one? Again it was probably me being a little intimidated by the process, even though poached eggs are actually my favourite way to eat eggs ( I can't stand them scrambled). Anyway, once again I said to myself 'Well let's take the positive of isolation boredom and try to master new things!' and so I did!
After watching a few Youtube videos and buying a 6 pack of eggs, which meant a dry run was possible, it actually ended up being pretty easy to achieve a perfect poached egg and I am kind of annoyed at myself for holding off on trying to make one for so long when it's actually so easy!
The final dish was just gorgeous, like spring on a plate, not too heavy but indulgent, and perfectly finished off with the poached egg, oozing egg yolk for added indulgence plus, with a little bit of solid chopping work, this was actually super easy to master and the stirring proved more therapeutic than anything!
A perfect dinner choice during a period where we have time to invest into making beautiful dishes that we are usually too rushed off our feet to successfully make. I for one am a total risotto at home convert and can't wait to make this again, in isolation or back in "normal life"
Adapted from Alison Roman's recipe.
- Sea salt
- 2 cups of broad beans (Sainsbury's sells them frozen)
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 3-4 large eggs (freshness is key here, ideally buy the eggs on the day you are planning to poach them)
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1/4 pound wild mushrooms, halved or quartered if large
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 large leeks, whites and pale greens only, chopped
- 1 fennel bulb, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 bunch spinach
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups finely grated Parmesan plus more for shaving on top
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives plus more for serving
- Defrost broad beans in microwave and set aside in bowl.
- Bring water in a small saucepan to boil, then reduce to simmer.
- Add vinegar.
- Crack 1 egg into a small bowl, then slide into simmering water.
- Cook until whites are cooked but yolks are runny, about 3 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer egg to a bowl of ice water.
- Repeat with remaining eggs.
- Bring broth to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and keep warm.
- Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large saucepan.
- Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer to bowl with broad beans.
- Heat oil and remaining 1 tablespoon butter in same pot over medium heat.
- Add leeks, fennel, and garlic.
- Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are softened, about 4 minutes.
- Add rice and stir to coat, about 2 minutes.
- Add wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until evaporated, about 4 minutes.
- Add 1 cup broth. Cook, stirring often (no need to stir constantly), until broth is almost absorbed.
- Add remaining broth by cupfuls, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more, stirring often, until rice is tender but still firm to the bite and mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes total
- Add spinach, sour crean, 1 1/2 cups grated Pecorino, 1/4 cup chives, broad beans and mushrooms to risotto.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until spinach is wilted and cheese is melted, about 2 minutes.
- Season risotto with salt.
- A few minutes before risotto is done, reheat poached eggs in saucepan of simmering water, about 1 minute.
- Divide risotto among bowls and top with eggs, shaved Parmesan, chives, and pepper.