Risotto with “La Tur” and Wild Carrot Honey
There is something incredibly special about rice. Aside from being a very political correct ingredient, affordable, with a long shelf life and always filling, it is probably the most versatile pantry item after flour.
From appetizers to desserts to distilled liquor, this grain has been interpreted and enjoyed by many cultures around the world throughout history. They say “If life gives you Lemons, make Lemonade”; Italians were given Rice, and they made Risotto! With the exception of a couple of “rice based” desserts, some stuffed summer vegetables like peppers or zucchini and a Sicilian Paella I cannot recall any traditional Italian recipe other than Risotto that uses rice as the main ingredient.
Risotto to me has been a great way to learn my way in the kitchen since I was a kid. Regardless of what recipe you are working on, you never can abandon or forget your risotto on the stove; it needs care, patience and some degree of devotion to become what your palate expects. It is an exercise in balancing fluidity and textures, it is a great way to learn your stove and properly dose its gauges, and it is a great overall excuse for not leaving the kitchen and keep playing.
From comfort food to high end menu item, from impromptu dinner to Monday evening leftovers, risotto can encompass both simplicity and sophistication, always delivering great flavors.
This recipe is absolutely divine, and I use it often as an appetizer when Debi and I plan some-what formal dinner parties.
Although I call for “La Tur” cheese there are several semi-soft cheeses that can be used according to your preferences, and it obviously goes without saying that also your “honey experience” can deviate from the Wild Carrot one that I have used here. However I would suggest to always seek a balanced between the ripeness of the cheese and the sweetness of the honey; do not use extremely flavored cheeses or honey that is too sweet like Acacia or Lime Tree.
Prep Time: 10 mins/ Cook Time: 20-25 mins/ Serves: 4-6
Heat the broth.
Cut the cheese in small cubes and set aside.
Rinse the Radicchio and slice very thin. Rinse the Parsley and chop very fine.
Dice the shallot very fine and sauté over a medium-high flame in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a tab of butter. When softened but not colored add the rice and stir well making sure to coat all the grains in oil. Jump the rice a few times then add the white wine and let reduce for a couple of minutes.
Lower the flame to a medium-low and slowly start adding the broth, one ladle at the time, giving the rice time to absorb it each time before adding more.
Add the grated Parmesan and season with salt and pepper.
High-grade risotto rice usually cooks in around 20-25 minutes; start tasting the texture of the grain after about 15 minutes, and about 5 minutes short of removing it from the fire add the cheese and melt it in completely as the rice finishes cooking.
Right before serving add the radicchio and mix well into the rice, plate and garnish with the chopped parsley, a touch of grated Parmesan and finally a generous teaspoon of Wild Carrot Honey.
NOTE: different rice might require a bit more or a bit less broth to cook. Always taste while cooking and use broth accordingly. If broth is finished warm water will finish the job.