I have some good news. Cosmopolitan Cyprus wrote a little feature on Afrodite’s Kitchen in their January issue and I’d like to say a belated heartfelt thank you to them. I didn’t actually find out about it until February! In addition, Evian Water re-grammed an Instagram photo of mine – my carob-chocolate brownies. Thank you Evian Water, I am thrilled! It is really wonderful to be featured in this way. Anyway, today’s recipe is a spring-time wild greens risotto. Spring time is in full swing in Cyprus and I went to the market the other day and picked up some wild fennel, wild asparagus, mushrooms, sweet peas and lemons. I always think “risotto” is difficult to make, but it couldn’t be any easier – if you have homemade chicken broth in the freezer. This risotto is really light and it’s really easy to make. It’s not heavy and the fennel flavour is subtle. If I were to make it again, I think I’d add more fennel to give it that extra punch. It’s the lemon flavour that really shines through in this recipe, which is what makes it light. It’s best enjoyed as soon as you have made it. I used pecorino romano to sprinkle on top, because it is one of my favourite Italian cheeses, but parmigiano reggiano would be wonderful too. Happy Cyprus Cooking, as always!
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tbs salted butter
1 tbs olive oil
1 finely chopped garlic clove
4-5 finely chopped shallots (or 1/2 an onion)
Juice of 1 lemon
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup fresh sweet peas
1/2 cup chopped wild asparagus (1 inch pieces)
1/4 cup finely chopped fennel bulb
1 tbs finely chopped wild fennel shoots
4 chopped mushrooms
salt & pepper to taste
3-4 cups homemade vegetable or chicken stock
1 tbs grated pecorino romano
roasted pumpkin seeds for garnish
2. Add rice and stir to coat for about 1 minute.
3. Add white wine and 1/2 of the lemon juice. Stir and cook the rice mixture, allowing some of the liquid to be absorbed.
4. Begin to add your vegetable or homemade chicken broth. Add one ladle at a time, adding a ladle after the liquid of the previous ladle is absorbed. This process should take about 18 to 20 minutes.
5. During the last few minutes (about 15 minutes in), add your asparagus, sweet peas, wild fennel, mushrooms, remaining lemon juice, lemon zest (leave some for garnish) and 1 tbs grated pecorino romano. Add salt & pepper to taste.
6. Garnish with lemon zest, grated pecorino romano and roasted pumpkin seeds.