Cheat’s Dinner Party 21 March 2010
100 g freshly grated Parmesan
2 sticks celery
2 garlic cloves
10 g sage leaves
1.4 litres chicken or vegetable stock
400 g risotto rice, i.e. Carnaroli or Arborio
100 ml crème fraiche
70 g butter
50 g capers
1 unwaxed lemon
25 g flat-leaf parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Drain the artichokes from the jar and reserve 2 tablespoons and cut the artichokes into small wedges. Chop the onion, celery and garlic finely. Chop the sage leaves and rinse the capers and drain.Pour the stock into a pan and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, heat the reserved olive oil in a large heavy based casserole, add the onion, celery, garlic and sage leaves and cook for 5-6 minutes without colour or until softened. Add the artichokes and stir fry for a minute then add the rice and stir fry it for a further 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. Finely grate the Parmesan.
Once the risotto is cooked, season and stir in crème fraiche and ½ of the grated Parmesan. Cover and leave to stand for 5 minutes, then taste again for seasoning adding more if needed. Remove the leaves from the parsley and chop. Finely grate and squeeze the juice from the lemon.
Divide the risotto between 6 soup plates. Melt the butter in a frying pan and when hot, and just starting to brown, (don’t let it burn) scatter in the capers and stir fry for moment. Add the lemon zest and juice, bring to a boil, add the chopped parsley then spoon over each of the dishes of risotto and serve immediately with the remaining Parmesan on the side.
The wonders of artichokes…. their uses are endless.