Risotto is a labour of love. It requires time, patience and attention, but will reward you tenfold. It is so versatile. The method given here up until the rice is cooked “al dente” will always be the same and can be done hours or even a day or two in advance. From that point on I invite you to play! Try a Meyer lemon and fennel frond risotto, or in the fall roasted squash and pumpkin seed. Maybe you like Parmesan cheese more than cheddar. It’s all up to you.
» 500 g Arborio risotto rice
» 2 L chicken or vegetable stock
» 500 ml white wine
» 2 Tbsp olive oil
» 2 cloves of garlic
» 2 medium shallots
» 1/2 bunch local asparagus, cut into rounds
» 8 shrimp, chopped and tails removed
» 150 g sharp or smoked cheddar, grated
» kosher salt and white pepper to taste
Heat stock in a medium pot. Finely chop garlic and shallots. Lightly cook in a wide base saucepan with olive oil until translucent.
Add rice and stir for 1 minute to “toast the kernels in the oil. Add the white wine and cook until almost all is absorbed into the rice, stirring the whole time to ensure no rice sticks to the bottom of the pan. Add a quarter of the stock and stir until almost all is absorbed. Keep repeating this step until the rice is “al dente.”
Then add the raw shrimp and asparagus. By the time it takes for the rice to finish cooking the shrimp will be nice and juicy and the asparagus crisp and green. Keep adding stock and stirring until the rice doesn’t get stuck in your teeth when you bite. Finish by folding in the grated cheese, and seasoning with kosher salt and white pepper. Serve piping hot with the remaining chilled wine and enjoy!