Let's Cook with Meg and Ted

Watercress and taleggio risotto

This risotto can also be made with rocket if you can't obtain watercress. And for Australian readers, the shallots aren't long green salad shallots but rather small onion-like things.

1.5 litres vegetable stock
50 g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
300 g arborio, carnaroli or vialone nano rice
half a glass of white wine
a bunch of watercress, leaves picked, chopped if large
60 g parmesan, finely grated
200g taleggio, rind removed with a vegetable peeler and cheese cut into cubes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the stock in a saucepan and heat until almost boiling. Reduce the heat until just simmering to keep it hot.

Heat the butter and oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for 2 minutes until softened but not browned. Add the rice and stir, using a wooden spoon, until the grains are well coated and glistening, about 1 minute. Pour in the wine and stir until it has been completely absorbed.

Turn up the heat and add 1 ladleful of hot stock and simmer, stirring until it has been absorbed. Keep repeating. After 15 minutes, add the watercress and mix well. Continue to add the stock at intervals and cook as before, for a further 3-5 minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender but still firm.

Mix in the taleggio, parmesan and salt and pepper. Remove straight away from the heat, cover, and let rest for 2 minutes. Then uncover, give a good stir, and serve at once topped with a few extra watercress leaves.

Serves 3-4.

From Ursula Ferrigno's fantastic book of vegetarian risotto recipes, Risotto.

October 2001

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