Saturday, August 13, 2011

Recipes: Leek and Pea Risotto (with Prawns)


Leek and Pea Risotto (with prawns)
Leeks, peas and lemons are in abundance at the moment and this fabulous risotto is a favourite with my family using seasonal and fresh ingredients.

lovely leeks at the Farmer's Market

The very first time I ate a real risotto was in San Gimignano, Italy over twenty years ago - and I remember every mouthful.  Fresh crab, subtle lemon flavour and glistening, succulent fat grains of rice - heaven.
Risotto is not a difficult dish to make but, because there are usually just a few ingredients, they need to be of the best and freshest quality. Plus, you need to put a bit of time aside for the stirring (glass of prosecco in the other hand!).
NOTE: I add the prawns as a garnish if I can find fresh green ones, but this is a lovely dish on it's own.  Without the prawns you can garnish with grated parmesan.
1 leek (white part only), washed and finely sliced
1 litre stock, vegetable or chicken
1 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen peas. if using frozen peas, make sure they are at room temperature
1 lemon, zest only
500g arborio rice
120g butter
2 tbs finely chopped dill OR parsley
salt and pepper

4 green prawns per person, shelled (leaving tails on) and deveined
100g butter
2 cloves garlic finely sliced
1 tsp dried chilli flakes

1.  Heat stock and wine in saucepan.
2.  In heavy based pan, melt butter and saute leek until it softens.
3.  Add rice and evenly coat with butter mixture and cook until the grains go slightly translucent.
4.  Add one cup of hot stock at a time, stirring constantly until rice is almost cooked.
5.  Add peas and lemon zest, adjust seasoning, and cook until liquid is mostly absorbed and rice is cooked (no hard bits in the middle, but firm).
6.  Just before rice is cooked heat a frypan with remaining butter, add chilli and garlic.  Add prawns and cook on high heat until they are golden.
7.  Add finely chopped dill (leaving a little for garnish) to risotto and stir through.
8.  Pile risotto onto plate and garnish with prawns and remaining dill.
where's my food stylist?
Buon appetito!

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