Friday, 29 March 2013

Rose Rice

Risotto di Barbabietola Rossa, Zenzero, Carota & Finocchio
Beetroot, Ginger, Carrot & Fennel Risotto

It is Friday- Good Friday even- and that means that it is not just a religious holiday here in Europe, but also a Bank Holiday... which means, hurrah- no work! But also means boo-hoo- no shopping! All the stores are closed- so you had better hope you did all of your groceries last night!

As I knew I would be spending the day with family, I didn't fret about groceries too much, as I know I will be able to go to the market hall tomorrow to get fresh fruit and vegetables. What I didn't reckon with, was most of them being ill! So, after enjoying a lovely lunch that my niece prepared today (thanks Gina! <3), I decided to stay for just a little while afterwards, but then to move on so that my sister, brother-in-law, my other niece, her husband and their 3 little boys could all rest and get over their colds- Get well soon everybody!

So I took the train back home and was fine for a few hours... but come evening, I was becoming just a tad hungry again... and with so little left in the fridge, as usual, had to compromise and get creative to come up with an idea for supper!

As I had indeed enjoyed a wonderful and rich lunch, I wanted something that whilst being filling, would also be relatively light and healthy. With a beetroot left over from yesterday evening, a small carrot and a quarter of a fennel, I decided I had all I needed to put together a fun and tasty meal in the form of this risotto. With a few herbs and spices, a little fresh ginger and about 30 minutes of time I turned that thought into an edible reality! And who knew it would taste so good?!?!

I started off by grating the beetroot, the carrot and about 1" of ginger finely. These went into my saucepan with a sprinkle of fennel seeds, the fennel itself, which I cut into a fine dice, half of an onion finely sliced and half of a clove of garlic, crushed. I sautéed everything in just a little olive oil, for 2-3 minutes and then added the rice- just a good handful of Arborio rice was enough for this nice single serving. I seasoned it with just a little salt, then pepper, a hint of cinnamon, a little coriander powder and yes- just a small piece of vanilla (which of course I would pick out later!).

And then I began to add vegetable broth, one ladle at a time... and to stir and repeat, stir and repeat... you know the method- until around 20 minutes later the rice was cooked, but the "risotto" was not yet creamy and good for eating- although the flavor wasn't half bad! It just needed some final "tweaking" :-)

So I added just a little splash of milk and grated it with a little nutmeg... stirred this in, and immediately, the rice began to transform itself into something a little more like a risotto! Somehow I felt that with the ginger and beetroot, cheese and butter would not really go well, so instead I added a little olive oil to give it a nice sheen and a nice pinch of freshly, finely chopped parsley and a hint of lemon zest, to brighten the flavor... mmm! Pretty good even if I do say so myself! I turned off the heat and stirred it through, added a hint of green tabasco for good luck and served it up with a generous sprinkle of fennel greens. And the result was different, delicious and quite delightful! And made for quite a wonderful Last Supper for the week! Hope you like it and hope you stop by tomorrow to see what I pick up at the market for you all!

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