“In the spring time, the only pretty ring time, When birds do sing, hey ding a ding; Sweet lovers love the spring.” - William Shakespeare
Spring is arriving and the garden is beginning to be filled with the flowers and bright greens of the season. As the air is warming and the days are lengthening, our food is beginning to reflect the new season as well. Here is a perfect recipe for Spring.
500g baby spinach, chard hearts and spring greens roughly chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 large onion finely chopped
1 garlic clove finely chopped
400g Arborio rice for risotto
150ml white wine
600ml chicken stock, heated
4 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
150g parmesan cheese shaved
25 g pine nuts toasted
Boil 600ml water with half a teaspoon of salt and cook the greens for 2 minute. Drain, reserving the liquid.
Heat a large pan and add the oil and the butter. Heat until the butter is foaming then add the onion and gently cook for about 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Stir in the rice and heat through for a few minutes until the grains are shiny and coated.
Pour in the wine and cook over a high heat for 1 minute to allow the alcohol to evaporate, stirring constantly.
Turn down the heat to medium and begin to add the liquid from the spring greens, a ladleful at a time, allowing it to be absorbed into the rice before adding more. When the liquid is used up, continue the process with the stock. This should take about 20 minutes.
When the texture is creamy, but each grain is still firm to the bite in the centre, the risotto is ready.