I was recently asked to try out Homegrown Foods’ organic vegetables and make a recipe of my choice for Sassy. I have only ever tried these delicious organic vegetables at Posto Pubblico, Linguini Fini and Cantopop where you can really taste the quality of the produce.
When there’s the prospect of a huge basket of amazingly fresh vegetables arriving on your doorstep however, you don’t realise quite the excitement that will arise. I scrutinised my cookbooks for weeks in advance, even though I didn’t have a clue which vegetables would arrive on the day.
The recipe I ended up making was one I had never in my life considered cooking, let alone eating. There was just something about it that was calling to me, begging me to cook it, begging me to taste it…
A strawberry risotto sounds a little terrifying, but somehow the tanginess of the strawberries goes beautifully with the sweetness of the wine and the nutty Parmesan cheese to make an incredibly tasty dish that I will no doubt make again and again – and now hopefully you can too!
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
1 leek, finely chopped
200g ripe strawberries, washed, hulled and halved
3tbsp good quality red or rose wine
300g Arborio rice
50g freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus extra for serving
Heat the stock in a large saucepan and keep it on a gentle simmer.
Heat half of the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Sauté the leek on a low heat until it has softened and add half of the strawberries. Cook gently for a couple of minutes, and then add the wine. When it has slightly evaporated, add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon to coat all the rice. Season with salt and pepper and add a ladleful of hot stock, stirring almost continuously to prevent the rice from sticking.
When the rice has absorbed the liquid, add another ladleful and continue stirring, making sure you move all the rice at the bottom of the pan with the spoon. After about 20 minutes of adding ladle by ladle of stock, taste the rice. It should be soft yet firm, and the texture should be creamy and slightly liquid. You may have to continue cooking it for a few more minutes.
Add the remaining strawberry halves, the butter and the 50g Parmesan cheese and stir it in.
Serve immediately with a grinding of black pepper and extra Parmesan cheese.
Sassy are giving away a Homegrown Foods regular sized basket to one lucky winner. If you want to try your luck at winning your very own basket of delicious organic veg, fill in your details here. The competition closes on Monday 5th March – good luck!