Lettuce & Pea Risotto
2 Little Gem lettuces, sliced crosswise
1 mug of frozen peas
1 glass of dry vermouth or white wine
250g risotto rice (Arborio or Carnaroli work best)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Handful of lardons (optional)
500ml stock (chicken or vegetable)
50 g butter
Tablespoon of olive oil
Salt and pepper
Parmigiana cheese, grated
Heat the pan ( a sauté pan is best) with the oil and half the butter on a medium heat, add the onions and lardons and sweat until the onion becomes translucent. Add the garlic, fry for a minute and then add the rice. Stir the rice so it becomes coated in oil, then add the vermouth/wine and stir and allow the alcohol to evaporate. You will know when this is done, as the sharp smell, that burns the nose, will go.
Keep the stock warm in a pan over a low flame, as you do not want to add cold stock to hot rice as this would slow down the cooking.
Now, add the stock to the rice, one ladle at a time. Stir it in and allow the rice to absorb it. Be patient! Continue this process until you are down to your last ladle of stock.
At this point taste the rice, if it is still too hard you can add the last ladle of stock; you can add more water if still too hard. (Risotto, like pasta should be “al dente”). Now add the peas and the sliced lettuce, stir gently so as not to break up the lettuce.
Turn off the heat add the other half of the butter and cheese and cover. Allow it to stand so the butter and cheese melt, season to taste and serve with a crisp white wine.
I hope you enjoy this. If you do then please visit my website for more ideas and recipes; http://www.cookwithreuben.co.uk/
In the summer you can replace peas with asparagus tips.