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.