Strawberry Risotto


This is from my Tuscan book 'Twelve'. It is a beautiful dish to make when strawberries are in their season. You can up the ingredients a little if you have more people at your table. Save a few chunks of strawberries to throw in at the end for colour.

Serves 3

250 g risotto rice
200 g strawberries – rinsed, hulled, halved
about 1. 1/4 litres of vegetable broth
30 g butter
1 small shallot, peeled & finely chopped
1 ½ tablespoons good brandy
about 25 g freshly grated parmesan + more for serving

If your strawberries are quite big then quarter them or cut into chunks. Heat the broth in a pot & keep on a gentle simmer. On a low heat, saute the shallot in half of the butter in a heavy-bottomed pot. Don't let it brown, just soften. Add half of the strawberries & the brandy & let it evaporate. Stir the rice through with a wooden spoon to coat it all. Add salt & pepper & a ladleful of hot broth. Keep adding more broth as it is absorbed, stirring often, making sure to move the rice at the bottom of the pot with your wooden spoon. It should take about 20 minutes to cook. Taste the rice after this time – it should be soft, yet firm & the texture creamy & a little liquid. You may have to continue cooking for a few more minutes. If you have run out of broth & it looks a bit dry, you can top up with hot water. Check the seasoning, then add the remaining strawberries, the rest of the butter & the parmesan & turn through.
Serve immediately with a grinding of black pepper & extra parmesan.