Sunday, July 29, 2007

Risotto with the flavor of Springtime – Risotto Primavera

Risotto Primavera has been around since they started making risotto in Crema. Primavera, whether in salads, risotto or pasta, indicates that the dish contains vegetables that begin to mature in the spring. There are many variations and many contemporary chefs have claimed paternity of Risotto Primavera. The fact is, while some recipes are famous, such as the one included today, Risotto Primavera found its origins in the gardens of the poor masses over the centuries. It is a simple risotto and whatever is fresh from the garden goes in. I would also make this during the winter because my kids loved it and it was a great way to get them to eat fresh vegetables. Instead of buying out of season veggies and going through the entire process I would purchase an 8 oz bag of mixed vegetables and throw it in, still frozen, with about 7 minutes before the risotto was ready. I apologize. I know I sound like that TV semi chef of “Semi Homemade” on food network.

This Risotto Primavera is the recipe used in Harry’s Bar of Venice and New York. It has mushrooms, something I do not totally agree with for the purposes of authenticity, but it is very good. It is said that the founder Arrigo Cipriani long after passing the restaurant to his son would come and eat regularly. His wanted to experience the dishes as a customer and created numerous dishes after leaving the daily operations of the company.

Ingredients for 6 people:

For the Risotto -
10 oz. (250 g) Arborio Superfino Rice
2 quarts (1.5 lt.) Chicken Broth
1 ½ cups White Wine (Old World Chardonnay)
1 small Onion (sliced and diced)
4 tbsp (45 g) Butter
3 oz. (80 g) Finely Grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt and Pepper

For the Vegetables:
1 clove of Garlic
4 oz (115 g) Mushroom heads thinly sliced
3 small Artichokes cleaned and sliced
2 small Zucchini cut into small cubes
6 Asparagus cut into ¾ inch strips
¼ Red Bell Pepper cut into 1 inch pieces
1 Small Spring Onion (only the white part about 1 inch)
1 tbsp diced Onion
1 tbsp Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper


Mince the garlic. Heat the skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Remove the garlic and add the sliced mushrooms. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes until they have lost their liquid. Add the Artichokes. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the Onion and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add the Zucchini, the Asparagus, the bell pepper and the spring onion. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often for 10 minutes. Taste for Salt and Pepper and adjust accordingly. Set aside the vegetable mix.

Melt 3 tbsp butter in a heavy pot over medium high heat. Add the diced onion to the pot and sweat the onions until transparent.

Add the rice. Stir the rice into the butter and onions coating the rice for about 1 minute. Pour the wine into the rice and stir quickly for 1 minute. Add 1 ladle of broth. When the broth begins to boil check the timer. It will now take 22 minutes to cook the rice. As the broth evaporates add another ladle of broth. Stir constantly the rice. Continue until the 15 minutes has passed.

Add the vegetable mixture and cook everything for an additional 7 minutes. Turn off the heat. Stir in the remaining 1 tbsp of butter and the Parmesan cheese. Let rice sit for 1 minute (mantecare). Serve hot in individual plates.


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Anonymous RennyBA said...

Looks and sounds delicious - Risotto is one of my favorite. Reading your recipe and instructions make it sounds easy to make too.

My wife made a food post yesterday too - I can tell we have a lot to learn from you when it comes to describing detail and recipe.

Btw: Whenever you find the time: looking forward to see you in Oslo:-)

11:38 AM


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