Basic risotto and pea/cauliflower variations

Origin: Heston Blumenthal

Basic risotto

Ingredients (for four)

  • 400g risotto rice
  • 150ml white wine
  • 100ml vermouth
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed and pureed
  • 1 litre stock / water / watered down leftover roasting juices
  • 75ml olive oil
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 75g parmesan
  • 1 dsp lightly whipped double cream / mascarpone
  • Salt and pepper

Heat oil, add rice and stir. It should crackle and smell nutty. Add the onions, garlic, 25g butter. Turn heat to low and cook for 5 mins (stirring). Add white wine, cook until reduced. Repeat with vermouth. Standard procedure with the stock, parmesan and butter. Finish by folding in the cream. Leave to stand for a few minutes before serving.

Pea risotto

Ingredients (for four)

  • 400g frozen peas / very fresh peas
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • S+P

Defrost peas (don't cook!). Puree in liquidiser/mouli. (If using food processor, pass through fine sieve afterwards.) Put into small pan with butter and heat gently a little (don't let it go lumpy/lose colour). Season to taste (lots of S+P). Stir into the risotto a couple of minutes before the end.

Cauliflower risotto

Ingredients (for six)

  • 450g cauliflower florets
  • 200g raw cauliflower (for grating at end)
  • 1 pinch curry powder
  • 90ml chicken stock (or water)
  • 90ml whipping cream
  • 90ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 2 big tablespoons finely chopped chives
  • Chocolate powder

Blanch the florets in lightly salted water for 3 mins, drain and refresh. Bring the chicken stock to the boil, add the cauli and the curry power and cook until the cauli is soft enough to puree. Tip into a liquidiser and leave to cool for 5 mins then puree, adding the cream and milk a little at a time. Pass the puree through a fine sieve, put into casserole on the heat. Cook for 5 mins until raw cream flavour disappears. Stir in the veloute (above) into the risotto two to three minutes before the end. (Don't stir in additional cream.) Stir in the chives and season. At the table, grate raw cauli over the dish and dust with chocolate powder.