Risotto Verde e Bianco

There is never a time when I look inside the fridge and think “there is nothing to eat”.  As long as there is one vegetable in the fridge then I know that a visit to the garden will make that two (vegetables) and with that a meal can be started. In between the growing broad beans, a few stinging nettles are growing. Along the walking paths a few dandelions are growing. And in the herb garden there is always some parsley. In a large saucepan the onions are caramelising, a little bit of pancetta is frying. The arborio is added and hot water poured, enough to cover the rice. A jar full of vegetable stock is added once the rice has absorbed all the water. Then in a bowl one of the remaining vegetables in the fridge, parsnip, is attended to. The parsnip is cut into soldier bread shapes, placed in a bowl, and salt added, enough to coat all of the pieces lightly, then oil is cascaded and all the parsnip generously coated with oil. Hands mix the salt and oil over the parsnip well. Then the grill sets itself alight (200C) and begins to cook the parsnip with care for about 25 mins.  While you dance to a new CD given to you by a friend that afternoon, you keep an eye on the window with a view to a grill. In the meanwhile the arborio is being stirred and stock is added.  The stinging nettle, gingerly handled, and a bouquet of parsley created and then beheaded. La Luna Mezza knife is now oscillating, no rocking side to side, when the arborio calls out ‘sono pronto!’ (I am ready) then Verde (herbs) goes in and the Bianco (parsnip) too, and I call out, no sing out, melodically, e` pronto il risotto verde e bianco (it is ready the risotto green and white).

 

 

Arborio cooking with already caramelised onion, and lightly fried pancetta.

Arborio cooking with already caramelised onion, and lightly fried pancetta.

Stinging nettle, dandelion, and parsley from the garden.

Stinging nettle, dandelion, and parsley from the garden.

Cut stinging nettle leaves off the plant by holding only the very tip pf the stalk. Or you can use tongs, or if you don't want that fresh green look, after washing the nettles, simply place the whole plant in boiling water until it is well cooked and then you can puree before adding to risotto.

Cut stinging nettle leaves off the plant by holding only the very tip pf the stalk. Or you can use tongs, or if you don’t want that fresh green look, after washing the nettles, simply place the whole plant in boiling water until it is well cooked and then you can puree before adding to risotto.

Mezza Luna knife makes cutting herbs fast.

Mezza Luna knife makes cutting herbs fast.

Verde - a little green hill for the risotto

Verde – a little green hill for the risotto

Parsnip delizioso.

Parsnip delizioso.