Fresh Mint is one of my favourite herbs to grow. It’ll grow anywhere and it grows quickly. Actually it grows too well. I planted it in my herb garden and spent the next four years weeding it out! Mint is the perfect planter herb. When all else fails, your mint will be lush and abundant. I grow mine in a huge pot by the back door and snip it all summer long!
If you’ve never made risotto, don’t be put off by all of the urban myths surrounding this absolute Italian soul food. It’s effortless as long as you like to stir. Gently stirring while it cooks ensures a gorgeous creamy texture. Risotto is meant to be loose and succulent – damn I just drooled – not stiff and thick. Restaurants rarely get it right because they cook it right up until it’s finished. The rice continues to absorb the broth even after it’s taken off the heat which is why it’s often gloopy when served. Look closely at my first shot. See the bit of broth at the side of the pan. That’s when you pull the risotto from the stove. The rice is done but still has some room before it gets thick. Trust me, risotto is easy and a wonderful treat to whip up for family and friends.
Leek and Prosciutto Risotto with Fresh Mint and Chilies
1 cup Arborio rice
1 leek, sliced and cleaned
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 slices good quality imported prosciutto, ripped into large pieces
6 large fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 dried red chili, crushed
4 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade but commercial will still be good!…bring to just before the boil and keep warm.
1 cup Reggiano Parmigiano, freshly grated
- In a deep skillet, melt butter with extra virgin olive oil over medium heat.
- When butter is frothing add leeks…sauté for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add prosciutto pieces and sauté for 1 minute
- Add Arborio rice and stir until well coated with butter/oil mixture Heating the rice ensures quick absorption of the broth.
- Add hot broth 1/4 cup at a time…stirring gently until broth is incorporated.
- Continue until rice is almost al dente…
- Add chopped mint and crushed chili.
- When risotto is al dente stir in the grated cheese.
- Garnish with shards of Reggiano and a rosette of fresh mint
THE LOVE: Risotto should have a loose consistency. It should NOT look like a plate of porridge – in my humble opinion…
one year ago: grilled brie, prosciutto and asparagus sandwich
two years ago: off to Italy
three years ago: easy apple tart
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