Liz and Lee Parsons’ award winning restaurant has been delighting diners in Arundel for many years. Here Head Chef Lee shares the secrets of one of his favourite dishes – risotto. ‘It’s so versatile and can either be eaten on its own or as an accompaniment.’
RISOTTO OF SWEET PEAS & SOFT HERBS WITH RICOTTA
Ingredients for four people
75g unsalted butter
1tbls olive oil
120g onion finely chopped (approx. 1⁄2 an onion)
1pc garlic clove – finely chopped
250g Carnaroli risotto rice
800ml white chicken stock
100ml white wine
1pc fresh thyme
1pc bay leaf
100g petite pois
2tbls chopped chervil and tarragon
25g unsalted butter
50g grated Padano cheese
70g Ricotta cheese
Juice from half a lemon
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Add the peas and bring back to the boil. Simmer for 30 seconds. Strain the peas and chill / refresh with cold water.
Using a hand blender or food processor quickly pulse the peas until a coarse purée. Place into a container and store in the fridge until required.
Bring the chicken stock to a simmer in a heavy bottom pan.
Using a separate pan melt the butter with the olive oil. Sweat the chopped onions and garlic on a medium heat until they become transparent.
Add the rice, increase the heat and “toast” the rice for 2-3 minutes.
Add the wine and bring to the boil. Immediately add half of the simmering chicken stock, the bay leaf and thyme.
Over a medium heat continually stir the risotto. The rice will absorb the stock and become thickened. At this point add the remaining stock in smaller equal amounts again continually stirring.
The cooking of the rice will take approx. 18-20 minutes.
Using a small spoon, taste and correct the seasoning with salt and pepper. The risotto should have a creamy texture with a slight bite to the grain.
When the risotto is cooked remove from the heat.
Add the chopped herbs, crushed peas, grated Parmesan and lemon juice. Stir well. Taste and correct the seasoning if required.
Serve the risotto in warmed serving bowls. Finish with small dollops of ricotta cheese and pea shoots (optional).