Let’s start at the very beginning…

  As Julie Andrews sang, the very best place to start.

My A recipe is a simple risotto made from beautiful artichokes, something I had never cooked with before. They have a delicious subtle flavour, and this creamy risotto allows this to be the focus of the meal.

Rather than a risotto being a hearty meal filled with different ingredients, this recipe is more traditional and would work well for a primo piatto, or starter before a main. We enjoyed it as a Sunday lunch with a salad, bread and wine and it marked the first visit of my dear friends Anna and Zach’s new baby at our place.

Globe Artichoke Risotto
Serves 6
Based on Jamie Oliver’s Recipe

3 cups amborio rice
1 onion
1 stick of celery
Large glass of white wine
Vegetable stock
2 artichokes
1 lemon
Knob of butter
Grated grana pedano, or parmesan
Some good olive oil

Firstly, prepare your artichoke.Peel back all the tough green outer parts until you are left with the soft golden centre. Cut into quarters and put aside in a bowl of water with half a lemon squeezed in. This will stop it discolouring. I watched a youtube clip to show me how to do this, having never attacked an artichoke before!

Gently fry your finely chopped onion and celery in a splash of oil and a little of your butter. When they have softened, add your rice and fry for a couple more minutes. Add the glass of white wine and allow it to be absorbed, you shouldn’t be able to smell the alcohol any more.

While this is happening, pull out the artichokes and finely slice them. Add them to your rice and start adding the stock little bit by little bit, stirring as much as you can. This helps the starch from the rice dissolve into the sauce, creating a lovely creamy consistency. It also means that every rice is cooked equally and the flavours are throughout the whole dish.

When the rice is almost done, turn off the gas, add the lemon zest and left over juice, the cheese and a lump of butter. Leave for a few minutes, stir through, and you are ready to plate up. All the more delicious with a bit more cheese and lemon zest on top. As well a drizzle of some good olive oil…

Other As I love:

Asparagus, mint and pea risotto, anchovies fried with chilli and stirred through pasta, avocado… with anything, and apple and rhubarb crumble.


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