Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Trentinian Apple risotto

This is the newest and pretty exciting addition to my risotto repertoire. As versatile as they are, apples are not one of the first ingredients that come to your mind when you are making a risotto. I found this recipe in a book of regional cooking from Trentino-Alto Adige, the alpine region north of Italy where the apples are one of their most famous local products. It inspired me a lot so I gave it a try, it bursts with the interesting fusion of flavours savoury, sweet and a touch of tartness, gave a fresh and pleasant twist from the usual risotto you may be familiar with. The ideal apples for this recipes are the ones from the Trentino region, however any type of apples that have firm flesh and not too sweet but not entirely sour (Royal Gala, Stark, Fuji etc.) would be perfect!

Ingredients: to feed about 4 people
360g Carnaroli rice (if carnaroli can’t be found Arborio will do)
3 medium apples
1 lemon
200ml white wine
1 onion, finely chopped
40g butter
600-800ml steaming hot vegetable broth
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Freshly grated parmigiano or grana padano

1. Peel, core and cut the apples in small chunks. Squeeze the lemon juice over the chunks and mix very well in a bowl.
2. Sautè the chopped onion in butter in a saucepan. When onions are entirely soft, add the rice, continue to sauté stirring continuously, until the rice is semi transparent.
3. Add 100ml of white wine to the sauce pan and stir well. As soon as it start to boil, turn the heat to very low. Continue to stir to avoid sticking at the bottom.
4. When the liquid is almost absorbed (not entirely dry but very little excess liquid left) Add a ladleful of the hot broth. Stir often. As the liquid get absorbed, continue to add another ladleful of the broth. *
5. In the meanwhile, cook the apples with another 100ml of wine and about 100ml of water in a separate saucepan for about 5 minutes.
6. After 15 minutes of cooking the rice, add the apple mixture and a dash of cinnamon, mix thoroughly.
7. Continue on cooking until the rice attains the desired consistency, another 5 minutes or a little more.
8. Serve with generous serving of freshly grated parmigiano, or grana padano.

*this method of adding the liquid a little at a time and stirring continuously, may look very tedious, but is actually the secret of making a delicious risotto. This ensures the proper distribution of the flavour, coating every morsel of the rice richly with the condiments! So be patient!

1 comment:

  1. Hey, Licia, Beth here, aka anonymous! This is the recipe I will try first!!

    Thanks for posting it, I still have buckets of apples from last fall. The US had a great year for apples, in 2008.