I hope everyone had a Happy Valentine’s Day yesterday!
Of course, it’s very apt that last week’s theme is “Love”, and I’ve once again reached for one of my pretty cookbooks – Falling Cloudberries. As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve used this book quite a bit so far. I was a bit hesitant using it again, but the more I cook from it, the more I’m falling in love with it. The photos have me staring intently and dreaming that I'm there.
I chose this recipe for its simplicity, its pretty whiteness, and its use of Champagne…..Tessa insists that you serve the dish with a glass or two, and who am I to say no to that!
Cookbook: Falling Cloudberries
Author: Tessa Kiros
3 tbs olive oil
2 small French shallots, finely chopped
500g Arborio rice
50g parmesan cheese, grated, plus extra for serving
80g unsmoked scarmoza or cacciotta cheese, grated (a type of dry mozzarella cheese)
Heat the oil in the large heavy-based saucepan with high sides. Sauté the shallots gently for 5 minutes until they are softened and slightly golden. Add the rice and cook, stirring for 30 second or so, until it is well coated with the oil. Add 300ml Champagne, stir and let the rice absorb it before you add one ladleful of hot water. When it has been absorbed, add another ladleful, stirring continuously to prevent the risotto sticking. Continue cooking the risotto in the way, making sure the water is absorbed before the next ladleful is added. After about 20 minute you should have added about 1 litre of water. Add salt to taste.
When the rice has absorbed all the water, add the remaining Champagne. Stir well and then stir in the parmesan, scarmoza and butter. Taste for salt again and serve immediately, with freshly ground black pepper and extra grated parmesan.
This was an extremely simple dish to prepare and put together. I was a little concerned by the lack of stock in the dish thinking it might not have any flavour at all, however surprisingly it turned out quite lovely with a smooth, subtle flavour. I felt the scarmoza cheese definitely brought the dish to life, but this also made it a little heavy. I served it with a little rocket salad, which worked really well, and in fact I think that the bitterness of the salad cut through the cheese and was a winning combination.
Would I make it again - yes I would. Maybe not straight away, but I think its a flavour that I'll want more of. Maybe on a cold wintery night. However, I would try adding a little stock.