29 April 2007

Risotto of spring vegetables with wild garlic leaves

It's the time of year that, in Vienna at least, menus are stuffed with wild garlic leaves from soup to cheese course.
Having received a surfeit of wild garlic leaves from generous friends with a garden, I begin to see why. We had to work out what to do with them. Chez Bruce was advertising a risotto with new vegetables, wild garlic leaves and parmesan. Sounds straightforward: I can make risotto. The only problem being how to find fresh vegetables on Fleet St at 6.30 in the evening. Marks & Spencer Simply Food on Ludgate Hill came up with asparagus tips (from Kent), carrots (from Northumbria) and sliced runner beans and shelled peas (from Kenya).
I wouldn't normally buy anything that had flown that far, nor have I ever bought sliced runners before. They looked very dried up, but the "protective atmosphere" must have had some very rejuvinating qualities - they were crisp, sweet and tasty.
I sliced the carrots "o"-style and cooked a good while with chopped onion before adding the rice, a glass of vermouth and the chicken stock. The wild garlic leaves were shredded, with some added at the beginning and most at the end. Peas went in 4 mins before end, with blanched asparagus and runners shortly after. Final adds were the parmesan (bowlful), some chopped parsley, and about 2/3 oz of frozen diced unsalted butter.
The arbiter of risottos pronounced his approval, but I thought it looked a bit of a mess, lacked a certain something (lemon juice, perhaps?) and am very curious to know how Bruce would have done it instead.

1 comment:

Mercutio said...

Tried steaming (no real kitchen to hand) pork loin with wild garlic leaves. Smelt very nice, but achieved little else.