….then I needed some warming comfort food…..
200 g freshly Parmesan
2 unwaxed lemons
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 sticks celery
1.4 litres chicken or vegaetable stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
400 g risotto rice, i.e. Carnaroli or Arborio
1 buffalo mozzarella
25 g butter
100 ml double cream
25 g flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven 180 C/350 F/Gas 4
Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper, sprinkle and shape 100 g of the Parmesan into 12 little into rounds about 9 cm (3 1/2 inch) diameter. Place in oven and bake for 5-10 minutes or until melted and golden brown. Remove from heat and leave to cool and harden.
Using a vegetable peeler, carefully remove the zest form the lemons in thin strips (being sure not to include any of the bitter white pith.) and squeeze the juice. Chop the onion and celery finely
Pour the stock into a pan and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large heavy based casserole, add the onion, celery, garlic and lemon zest and cook for 5-6 minutes without colour or until softened.
Add the rice and stir fry it for about a minute. Stir in the stock and season with pepper. Cover and place in the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the rice has just cooked and all the liquid has been absorbed. Drain and grate the mozzarella roughly. Finely grate the Parmesan.
Stir the butter, cream, mozzarella, remaining Parmesan and lemon juice into the cooked risotto, then taste for seasoning adding more if needed. Stir in the parsley and serve at once with the Parmesan crisps on the side to crack over the risotto.
From archive of my Cheat’s Dinner Party column Stella Magazine first published 6th January 2008