green garlic risotto

Back in May I had the pleasure of dining at Alexis Gauthier’s new restaurant in London’s West End (at the site formerly graced by Lindsay House) during its launch week. The French chef is known for his affinity to vegetables, so it’s no surprise that the two dishes that stuck with me most from the meal were his Pea Velouté with Poached Duck Egg and Green Garlic Risotto. Imagine my delight when I spotted the recipes in July’s Jamie magazine, in a piece written by Adam Bryatt (from Trinity) documenting his visit to Gauthier Soho. Both were quickly dog-eared and although I’ve yet to attempt the pea soup, I gave the risotto recipe a whirl last night with much success.

The name is actually is a little misleading as the grassy green hue comes from the addition of spinach and not garlic scapes; in fact only a single clove of garlic is used in the risotto. The creamy unctuous rice is absolutely sublime – the garlic running delicately through without being overpowering and the parmesan crisp adding extra flavour and crunch. One slight issue I had with the recipe was the addition of the mascarpone, cream and spinach at the end, requiring the ingredients to be separately stirred into the risotto off heat. This meant it was plated-up lukewarm and we had to wolf the lot down before it got cold. I’ve altered the method below to rectify this and I would further recommend serving on warmed bowls to ensure it arrives at the table piping hot. It’s absolutely sublime and quite versatile – you can easily substitute the parmesan crisp with various alternative toppings. I plan to crown mine with sauteéd wild mushrooms or seared scallops on its next excursion.

Green Garlic Risotto
serves 4, as a starter

250g (8.8 oz) spinach leaves
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 shallots, finely chopped
240g (8.5 oz) carnaroli rice
100ml (0.4 cup) white wine
1L (4 cups) chicken stock
40g (2 tbsp) mascarpone
50ml (3 tbsp) whipping cream
50g (1.8 oz) freshly grated parmesan
extra virgin olive oil

parmesan crisps (optional):
50g (1.8 oz) freshly grated parmesan
1 heaped tsp flour

First make the parmesan crisps. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Mix the grated cheese and flour, then spoon four equal heaps onto the pan. Press the cheese piles into rounds, lifting them off once melted and golden. Immediately place (while still pliable) on a rolling pin to create curls. Leave to cool.

Heat a little olive oil (about 2 tsp) in a pan on a medium heat then cook the spinach for a couple of minutes until just wilted. Drain, place in a bowl with the garlic and blitz with a hand blender until smooth. Set aside.

Heat the chicken stock on a low heat in a small saucepan. Once it simmers lower the heat to keep warm.

Meanwhile heat a tbsp of olive oil in a separate pan and and sauté the shallots on a medium heat. Once softened add the rice, frying for a minute. Pour in the white wine and stir in until absorbed. Start adding the warm chicken stock a ladleful at a time, and cook, stirring continuously for 15-17 minutes. Make sure each addition of stock is absorbed before the next spoonful.

When all the stock has been added and mostly absorbed, scoop in the mascarpone and stir for a couple of minutes. Add the spinach and stir for another 2 minutes. Next add the cream, stir through, then turn off the heat once combined. Finally toss in the parmesan and season to taste.

Spoon onto warmed dishes, topping with a parmesan crisp to serve.

~ by gourmettraveller on September 27, 2010.

11 Responses to “green garlic risotto”

  1. I’m interested to hear about the flour for the crisps, when I tried it in school they never added that and we had trouble with it falling apart.

  2. Holy moly – that looks awesome. Straight on the must make list.

  3. WOW! This looks outstanding, thank you for this recipe…I know I will be trying it!

  4. this looks divine! just showed my wife… will be on the menu this weekend me thinks! thanks v. much…

  5. I have that magazine and skimmed through it, as I all too often do. Looks great. Definitely going to give it a go!

  6. I am printing the recipe for onward transmission to the Senior Risotto Chef (aka hubby) to add to his repertoire. Looks fabulous!

  7. For some reason, risottos are always amazing in London!

  8. This recipe sounds so good, will be making it tomorrow. All of your recipes look great, glad I found you on FoodBuzz!

  9. […] been trying to eat more vegetables in my meals. I recently came across this recipe on the Gourmet Traveler blog. It uses a huge amount of spinach, which was great for me since I have a giant Costco bag of […]

  10. […] been trying to eat more vegetables in my meals. I recently came across this recipe on the Gourmet Traveler blog. It uses a huge amount of spinach, which was great for me since I have a giant Costco bag of […]

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