Here's a good one to make for St Patrick's Day next Friday. Choose what green veggies you like: broccoli, snow peas, capsicum and so on can be used, either as substitutes or to add variety. Try to use a homemade basil pesto as it will lift the flavour (recipe below). This recipe was originally published in my Food Year (Simon & Schuster) cookbook.
- Prep Time : 15 minutes
- Cook Time : 20 minutes
- Yield : 4
- chicken or vegetable stock - 750m-1 Litre
- butter - 50g (1/3 cup), sifted
- green onions (shallots) - 2, finely sliced
- leek - 1, thinly sliced
- arborio rice - 300g (2 cups)
- dry white wine - 125ml (1/2 cup)
- peas - 1 cup, freshly shelled
- green beans - 1/2 cup, cut into 1cm pieces
- fresh asparagus - 1/2 bunch, cut into 1cm pieces
- zucchini - 150g, cut in half lengthways and fiinely sliced
- fresh parmesan (parmigiano reggiano) - 1/2 cup, grated
- homemade basil pesto - 2-3 tablespoons (see below)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the stock in a saucepan. Keep warm over low heat - it should be just simmering.
Melt 25g butter in a frying pan, add the shallots and leek and cook until softened. Add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon until the grains are coated with butter. Add the wine and boil until it evaporates. Stir in all the vegetables. Add stock by the ladleful, stirring each time until the liquid is absorbed.
Continue adding stock and stirring until, when tested, the rice is al dente (cooked but not mushy), about 20 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat, stir through the parmesan, remaining butter and pesto. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and leave to stand for 2 -3 minutes. Give the rice a last gentle stir and spoon onto warm plates for serving.
Serve with grated or shaved extra fresh parmesan on the side if you wish.
Pesto alla Genovese (Basil Pesto):
Place the following ingredients in bowl of a food processor or thermomix:
1 1/2 cups tightly packed basil leaves
65g pine nuts
2 -3 cloves garlic, peeled
70g freshly grated parmesan
Process until creamy. Slowly drizzle in 100m extra virgin olive oil through the tube until the mixture is smooth. Taste and add a little salt if needed.