Green risotto with lemon
- carnaroli (or aborio) rice, 300g
- zest and juice of half a large lemon
- red wine vinegar, tbsp
- butter, 20g
- olive oil, tbsp
- red onion, chopped
- chicken stock, 500ml
- spring onions, 2, sliced
- grana padano (see note at bottom)
For the green puree:
- spinach, 100g
- peas, 100g
- basil leaves, large handful
- large garlic clove
- parsley, small handful (optional)
To make the green puree, bring a large pan of water to the boil and add the peas and spinach. Cook for five minutes or so and then drain. When cool, place in a food processor along with the other ingredients and blitz to a puree. Set aside.
Heat the butter and oil in a large saute pan over a medium heat. Add the red onion and cook for 10 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, place the stock in a saucepan and place on a medium high heat. When the onion has softened, add the rice and stir to coat in the pan juices. Add a ladle of stock and stir the rice until most of if has been absorbed. Keep adding the stock a ladle at a time until the rice is cooked al dente, about 20-25 minutes. 5-10 minutes before the rice is cooked add the green puree, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and spring onion. When the rice is just about al dente add a last ladle of stock and remove from the heat, still stirring until a desired consistency is achieved (I like it at about a level where, if one runs a wooden spoon through the middle, the rice will hold its shape for a second before filling the space). Sprinkle over the lemon zest and spoon into bowls, drizzling over some extra virgin olive oil to taste.
A note on grana padano. This dish can work either way, and I have tried both. If a more satisfying, filling risotto is desired then grate away, but if you wish to have a lighter dish, it works perfectly without. If only parmesan is in reach then I would recommend not adding it, I would imagine the flavour wouldn't be delicate enough for the dish.
A further note, which has just hit me at the end of this post. Some orange zest (if to hand) would work quite well alongside the lemon. I am yet to try it, but shall next time.