This isn't pretty, but neither is the world nowadays. As we sink further and further into what feels like one helluva horror movie I find I'm in need of kitchen therapy.
The repetitive motion of stirring risotto is ALWAYS good therapy. Nothing but your thoughts and a wooden spoon. I can't fix the world, but I can fix risotto.
The prettiest purple brussels sprouts are the inspiration for this dish. I really wanted a recipe that would showcase them.
This is a hearty and comforting risotto, maybe not perfect for summer, but perfect if you're in need of comfort, which I dare say we all are right now.
Brussels Sprout Risotto
Adapted from Plenty More
by Yotam Ottolenghi
Serves 4, or more
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons thyme leaves
2 lemons, rind shaved in long strips from one, finely grated zest the other
1-1/2 cups Arborio rice
1 pound brussels sprouts, 7 oz. shredded the rest quartered lengthwise
scant 2 cups dry white wine
scant 4 cups vegetable stock
about 1-2/3 cup oil, for frying Brussels
1-1/2 cups grated Parmesan
2 ounces blue cheese, broken into chunks
1/3 cup tarragon leaves, chopped
2 teaspoon lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste
Place the butter and olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and fry for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly caramelized. Add the garlic, thyme, and lemon rind strips and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the rice and shredded sprouts and cook for another minute, stirring frequently. Pour in the wine and let it simmer for a minute before you start adding the stock, 1 teaspoon salt, and a good grind of pepper. Turn down the heat to medium and carry on adding the stock in ladlefuls, stirring often, until the rice is cooked but still retains a bite and all the stock is used up.
While the rice is cooking, pour the oil into a separate large saucepan; it should rise 3/4 inch up the sides. Place over high heat and, once the oil is very hot, use a slotted spoon to add a handful of the quartered sprouts. (Take care that they are completely dry before you add them; they will still splatter, so be careful.) Fry the sprouts for less than 1 minute, until golden and crispy, then transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels. (Full disclosure: frying these sprouts made one heck of a mess in my kitchen so be prepared to clean splattered oil from everywhere!) Keep the sprouts warm while you finish the dish.
Add the Parmesan, blue cheese, tarragon, and half the fried sprouts to the cooked risotto and stir gently. Serve at once with the remaining sprouts spooned on top, followed, by the grated lemon zest and lemon juice, and a sprinkle of the cheese, if you like.