The Cookbook Challenge No. 13: Love

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!

Champagne Risotto
Cookbook: Falling Cloudberries
Author: Tessa Kiros

Serves 6
3 tbs olive oil
2 small French shallots, finely chopped
500g Arborio rice
600ml champagne
50g parmesan cheese, grated, plus extra for serving
80g unsmoked scarmoza or cacciotta cheese, grated (a type of dry mozzarella cheese)
40g butter

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.


  1. Wow - what an intriguing recipe! I think I too would have been a bit nervous about the recipe, but how could one pass up such a decadent concept for Valentine's Day!

  2. Thanks for your comments Hannah-every girl should have some decadence in their life at some point!

  3. Happy Valentine's Day! Ooh, champagne risotto isn't something you see everyday! It would seem like it would taste very alcoholic with 600ml of champagne!

  4. wow - I would be a bit scared to make a champagne risotto but that does look so creamy and delicious. well done!

  5. 600ml of champagne! I will like to try that one day as well.

  6. Thanks Imasugarjunkie - very creamy!

    Hey Penny - 600ml in the dish leaves a couple of glasses worth to drink....perfect!

  7. I am so much a champagne girl that this dish suits me right down to a T, although I couldnt promise to stop at one glass alongside

  8. Love the idea of champagne risotto. Two of my favorite things combined :)


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