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Summer Vegetable Risotto
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Master the basic technique of cooking risotto and you can enjoy endless combinations of flavours. The key to success is choosing the correct rice. Use an Italian risotto rice such as Riso Gallo Vialone Nano Risotto Rice or Carnaroli Risotto Rice: both have excellent absorption qualities. Early summer, when fresh peas and the last of the English asparagus are available, is the perfect time to make this risotto.
Use a wide pan as this will allow more of the rice to come in contact with the heat, letting it cook quickly and evenly. Stir with a large wooden spoon or spatula, as this is less likely to break up the rice grains than a metal spoon.
The flavour of the oil could easily overpower the stock and vegetables. Use rapeseed or grapeseed oils which have delicate flavours.
Vegetable stock can be used in this recipe as an alternative to chicken. Stock made from stock cubes can also be used in place of fresh stock. If you do use stock cubes, taste the cooked risotto before adding any seasoning, as there is usually some in the stock.
You can use other ingredients instead of asparagus and peas such as cooked chicken, smoked fish or seafood. Prepare and cook the ingredients separately and add them in after the rice is cooked. Take care not to overcook at this stage.
If you would like to make a risotto from scratch but don't have enough time, look out for the Riso Gallo Risotto Pronto Range with new sun-dried tomato plus saffron and mushroom flavours. It can be ready in 12 minutes.
1 small pan
1 medium pan
Chopping board knife
Large, heavy-based sauté or frying pan
This recipe was first published in June 2002.