Stilton, broccoli & pear risotto
Its all about timing with this seasonal risotto. Success is guaranteed by bringing all of the elements together at the right time, at the right temperature, with a variety of different textures and flavours. The Kokerboom kaas black-winged stilt, an exceptional stilton cheese, adds an explosion of umami and peppery aftertaste. A traditionally prepared stilton, the black-winged stilt is made with west coast guernsey milk and is mindblowingly good. This gratifyingly green risotto is great as a date night dinner for two, but will also help you show off your new-found cooking repertoire at a dinner party. This recipe will easily feed 4-6 of your guests a delicious warm starter, and the vibrancy of its colours will wow all of them.
- small pot
- large pan
- small pan
- Wooden spoon
- Sharp knife
- Chopping board
- slotted spoon
- small mixing bowl
- 250 g arborio rice
- 800 ml vegetable stock
- 180 g broccoli florets
- 2 pears
- 1 black winged stilt, stilton cheese
- 2 white onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 100 g corn flour
- 30 ml milk
- wood sorrel
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Wash all ingredients. Peel the onions but keep the root intact (this is needed to make your garnish).
- Cut the onions in half then from each half, thinly slice two cross sections. Rest each of these in the milk, taking care not to let them break from the root. You should have a total of eight slices. Finely dice the remaining onion to a size smaller than that of the rice grain.
- Slice 12 uniform segments of the pear and cover gently with lemon juice (this is only to prevent discolouration), whatever remains keep to one side. Break the broccoli into small florets and again keep a small portion to one side for garnishing later.
- Add boiling salted water to the pot and allow it to come to a rapid boil. Add 80% of the broccoli and whatever pear remains and blanch until bright green and soft. Remove it and put in ice water to retain the colour.
- Add the onion to the large pan and sauté on a medium heat with olive oil. Once this has become translucent, add the Arborio rice. Coat with the oil and onion and proceed to "crack" the risotto.
- Slowly add the stock to the risotto, topping up from time to time, but never letting the rice boil in the stock. At this stage try not to use your spoon to mix but rather agitate the pan gently with the handle. This finely breaks the husk of the rice bringing a creaminess to the sauce, however it doesn't upset the structure of the rice grain, allowing it to take on the stock and become plump and fluffy. Less agitation is better.
- Remove your onion "petals" from the milk and allow most of the moisture to drip off. Now dust in the cornflour and shallow fry on a medium heat until golden. When those are done you can keep them in the oven on a low heat to remain crisp.
- Take a small portion of the stock, the blanched broccoli and pear, raw garlic clove and parsley; blitz in the blender to make a velvety smooth and vibrant green puree.
- Once the rice has cooked for about twenty to twenty-five minutes, you may add the puree to finish. Don't overcook the rice once the puree has been added, it will become stodgy and exchange its vibrant green colour for brown. Finish with a touch of olive oil for sheen and lemon juice to introduce some sharp acidity. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Sauté the pear segments in the small pan until al dente and golden in colour. Blanch the remaining broccoli until bright green.
- Plate the risotto with crumbles or slices of the stilton, sautéed pear, blanched broccoli florets and crispy onion petals. Garnish with wood sorrel.