Risotto of Mediterranean Vegetables with Smoked Ricotta

Mediterranean vegetable stock and dried slivers of vegetables give Curtis Stone's risotto a wonderful flavour and vibrant colour
By Curtis Stone
Risotto of Mediterranean Vegetables with Smoked Ricotta
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: plus overnight drying vegetables
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

Main

  • 75 g unsalted butter
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 300 g arborio risotto rice
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 2-3 tbsp finely grated parmesan
  • slivers of smoked ricotta cheese
  • black pepper

For the dried vegetable garnish:

  • 4 baby courgettes, thinly sliced
  • 4 baby aubergines
  • 1 plum tomato, thinly sliced
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt

For the stock:

  • 12 plum tomatoes
  • 6 red peppers, halved, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 3-4 sprig thyme
  • large handful of basil, leaves picked
  • 150 ml white wine vinegar
  • 500 ml tomato juice
  • 300 ml water
  • black pepper

For the Parmesan crisps:

  • 100 g parmesan, finely grated

Method

1. First prepare the dried vegetable garnish. Preheat the oven to 110°C/gas 1/4. Line a large baking tray with baking parchment.

2. Arrange the vegetable slices in a single layer on the tray. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place in the oven and leave for several hours or overnight until dry.

3. Put all the stock ingredients, except the salt and pepper, in food processor and whiz to a purée. Pass through a fine sieve into a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until slightly reduced. Season to taste. Keep gently simmering over very low heat.

4. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4 for the Parmesan crisps.

5. To make the risotto, melt the butter in a large deep frying pan. Add the shallots and gently fry over medium heat for 3-4 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.

6. Add the rice and stir for 1 minute until the grains are glossy and translucent.

7. Add the white wine and stir until evaporated.

8. Add a ladleful of hot stock and stir until absorbed. Continue to add the stock a ladleful at a time, stirring continuously, until all the stock is absorbed and the rice is swollen and creamy but firm in the middle. This should take about 20 minutes.

9. Stir in the Parmesan and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

10. To make the Parmesan crisps, line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Place a cooking ring or pastry cutter on the baking sheet. Sprinkle a layer of grated Parmesan into the ring to cover the surface. Lift off the ring. Repeat to make seven more Parmesan circles.

11. Bake for 3-4 minutes until the Parmesan has melted.

12. Garnish the risotto with smoked ricotta shavings and the dried vegetables. Serve with the Parmesan crisps.

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