Okay, let’s talk about risotto. I have been having intense risotto cravings ever since I first tasted Lil’s courgette risotto and realised that actually, risotto is a perfect summer food. Have I said the word risotto too many times? It’s starting to sound weird… Either way, risotto can be surprisingly light whilst still being its comfortable self that we’ve learnt to lean on during cold snaps.
This recipe is a bit of a mix of the aforementioned courgette risotto and Nigella’s crab risotto from Nigellissima – it’s basically a mix of my favourite things. This isn’t a super fast dinner option, but the process is as comforting as the final product and ever since I bought my Le Creuset saucepans, I’ve wanted to spend as much time with them as possible (just kidding…. kind of). This dish would be perfect to impress a fancy friend or five (the recipe is easily multiplied) but I just like it with a glass of wine when I want to treat myself and I think you should do the same. You’re worth the effort.
I usually like my risottos with a crazy amount of mushrooms and heaps of Parmesan, but I actually think this recipe tops that a million times over. It’s light, it’s fresh, it’s creamy and it’s full of my favourite summer flavours. Make it now, before we have to dig out our winter jumpers and begin hibernation…
- 750ml chicken stock (the best you can afford)
- Splash of olive oil
- Knob of butter
- 2 Echalion shallots (or 4-5 regular shallots), finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or grated
- 1/2 red chilli, finely chopped
- 200g risotto rice
- Glass of dry white wine
- 200g white crab meat, flaked
- 1/2 courgette, coarsely grated
- Big handful of rocket
- Zest & juice of 1/2 lemon
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Parmesan to serve (optional, but tasty)
- Make up your stock and leave to one side
- Heat the oil and butter in a saucepan and add the shallots. Cook until very soft, but don't allow to brown too much.
- Add the garlic and chilli and cook for another minute.
- Turn up the heat and add your rice. Stir around until coated in oil and onions.
- After a minute or so, the rice should turn a little bit translucent around the edges; that's when you should pour in your wine. Allow this to bubble until it's been absorbed into the rice. Give your risotto a good stir.
- Turn the heat down and add a ladleful of stock (around 100ml). Allow this to be absorbed into the rice as well - you can tell that it's been absorbed fully and is ready for some more stock when it holds its shape slightly when you stir).
- Continue to add the stock a ladleful at a time until the risotto is cooked through - repeating the above process. You want it to be a little al dente so you may not use all the stock - after the first few rounds you'll want to try a little spoonful so you know where you're at.
- Turn the heat down even further stir in the courgette, crab, rocket, lemon zest and juice. Stir until fully combined and heated through. The rocket should have wilted and the courgette gone a little softer.
- Season to taste and serve with lashings of grated parmesan and a little extra squeeze of lemon juice.