I cook risotto every week. Sometimes the dish is hearty. Sometimes I prefer to turn it into an elegant and dressed-up meal. But always, risotto flows naturally, like a play well rehearsed.
It’s a good thing.
It’s also very convenient at the moment for various life events. One, I am completely absorbed by the revisions of my cookbook. Two, when I draw, play legos or read books with Lulu, I make simpler foods. And three, I am cooking in a tiny kitchen at the moment while our kitchen–in the new bigger home–is being completely remodeled. And oh! let me add how excited I am to see the final result soon. A new kitchen, imagine that! There’s still a lot of work, and a good number of weeks ahead, but when the project is done, it will be the promise of a beautiful serene place where I’ll be able to cook even more.
Better. I have the hope.
I cooked this risotto once when we were in Belle-Île en mer. I had purchased outstanding langoustines and coquilles St Jacques (with the coral, you know, that pretty deep orange piece that is part of a scallop) that were so pretty that I wanted them to stand out on our plate inside a dish of warm pearls of goodness.
Risotto allowed for that to happen.
So here you are. I am sharing the recipe with you tonight. I won’t chat for too long either. I hope you don’t mind. Because as rare as it happens, I am sick with a bad cold and I need to get some more rest.
You know, too, that risotto helps in situation of that nature. Right?
Comfy food that soothes the aching body and takes the headache away.
La recette en français suivra…merci de votre patience.
- Sea salt and pepper
- 1 bunch watercress, blanched in salted water for 1 minute, then rinsed
- 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
- 3.5 to 4 cups vegetable broth or chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil + more to serve
- 1 twig thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup Carnaroli rice, or another risotto rice like Arborio or Vialone Nano
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 large shallot, chopped finely
- 1 celery branch, chopped finely
- 1 fennel bulb, chopped finely
- 1 tomato, blanched, peeled, seeded and diced
- 12 scallops with coral
- 12 scampi, or large shrimp, deveined
- 1 tablespoon chervil, chopped
- 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
- 1.5 oz Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- Place the watercress in the bowl of a food processor. Season with salt and pepper and add the mascarpone cheese. Purée finely; set aside
- In a pot, heat the stock; keep warm on the side.
- In a large pot, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil. When warm, add the shallot, fennel, celery, thyme and cook for 2 minutes, stirring, until the shallot is soft but not brown.
- Add the rice and coat for 1 minute.
- Add the wine and let cook until it’s fully absorbed by the rice.
- Add 1 cup stock, the tomato, bay leaf and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Wait until the stock is absorbed to add more.
- In the meantime, using a frying pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Saute the scampi and scallops for 1 minute on each side, until they are barely cooked; season with salt and pepper and keep warm on the side.
- When the rice is almost fully cooked (it should be al dente), stir in the watercress and add the rest of the stock.
- Stir in the cheese and chervil and parsley, add the scampi and scallops, season with salt and pepper, stir gently. Stop the heat and cover for 2 minutes.
- Discard the thyme and bay leaf. Serve the risotto in deep bowls and drizzle with olive oil.