Posts Tagged ‘risotto’

Saffron Series II: Saffron Risotto/ risotto allo zafferano

In Cheese, Main meals, Rice on July 29, 2012 at 9:55 am

As promised, here is the second of my saffron posts. I made this for lunch today to take to share with friends at uni. The recipe came from my risotto bible, Maxine Clark’s ‘Risotto with vegetables, seafood, meat and more.’ If you are a fan of risotto and haven’t yet seen it (which I find hard to believe) then you definitely should! Risotto isn’t that hard to make if you know how to do it, and all it takes is good quality ingredients for meal for an average meal to be turned into a sumptuous risotto. Clark’s recipe for saffron risotto was very simple, but it was truly divine – especially on a wet and windy Auckland afternoon/evening!



1 – 1.5 litres hot vegetable stock or light chicken stock

125 g butter

1 onion finely chopped

(I also always add 2 cloves of chopped garlic, or smoked garlic if I have it)

500g risotto rice (your choice, I always go with arborio)

150ml dry white wine (I just use a generous wine glass rather than measuring)

1/4 tsp ground saffron or 16 saffron threads

75g grated parmesan

salt and pepper


Put the stock in a saucepan and keep at a gentle simmer. Melt half the butter in a large, heavy saucepan and add the chopped onion and garlic, if using. Cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes, so the onions are soft, golden and translucent but not browned. Add the rice and stir until well coated with butter and heated through. Pour in the wine and stir until it had reduced down and almost disappeared.

Add the stock, one ladle at a time, stirring until the liquid has almost dissolved between each addition. Add the saffron after the first ladle. The risotto should be kept at a bare simmer throughout, don’t let the rice dry out! Continue cooking until the rice is tender and creamy, but the grains are still firm to the bite.

Taste and season well with salt and pepper. Stir in the remaining butter and add all the parmesan. Cover and let rest for a few minutes before serving, and add a little bit more stock to loosen it if you think it is necessary.




Fennel & Black Olive Risotto

In Main meals, Rice on April 5, 2012 at 7:44 am

I make this recipe all the time and oddly enough, I’ve never photographed it. Possibly because risotto is one of those things that is very difficult to photograph well. Not to mention I usually make it at night, so the lighting is poor. Also, I was in such a hurry to get eating, I even forgot to move my whiskey glass out of way – ooops!

However, that’s enough excuses. And bad photo aside – this recipe is delicious! There’s a reason I make it all the time. Plus, you generally have some relish leftover, which is always a good thing. I used fennel from my garden – I’ve got to say it really helps if you grow it yourself as it’s pretty expensive to buy. It’s really easy to grow though – so if you’ve got any space in your garden, I really recommend planting some fennel!

Fennel & Black Olive Relish:

6 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped

5 sundried tomatoes in oil, drained and coarsely chopped

200 g oven dried black olives, pitted

1 fresh bay leaf

12 basil leaves, torn

2 tbsp aniseed liqueur (I used white Sambuca)

salt and pepper

To make relish, heat 2 tbsp of oil in medium saucepan and cook the onion, garlic and fennel until softened. Add sundried tomatoes, olives and bay leaf and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Season, remove bay leaf and stir in basil. Transfer to a food processor and blend to a coarse texture. Stir in the liqueur and remaining oil. Cover and set aside.

Risotto ingredients:

1 litre vegetable stock

125g butter

1 onion, finely chopped

3 fennel bulbs (I only ever used one), trimmed and finely chopped

zest of 1 lemon

300g risotto rice

150ml white wine

parmesan, to serve

To make risotto, put the stock in a saucepan and keep at a gentle simmer. Melt half the butter in a saucepan and add the onion, fennel and lemon zest and cook until whole lot is well softened, about 10-15 mins. Add rice and stir until well coated with butter and heated through. Add glass of wine and wait until absorbed.

Begin adding stock, one ladle at a time, stirring gentle until the liquid has been absorbed. I always cook my risotto on a very low temperature – it’s better to cook it slightly slower and let the flavours be absorbed by the rice. Cook until the rice is tender and creamy, but still firm to the bite. Cover and let rest for a few mins; stir in the remaining butter. Top with the black olive relish and grated parmesan.

YUM. Winter is here! Well, almost.