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For the Love of Risotto

If I didn’t convey just how much I loved Tal Ronnen’s cookbook in the previous post, his recipe for Asparagus and Meyer Lemon Risotto should do the trick. I did modify his recipe slightly and instead of using Arborio rice, I used unbleached barley and I cut the quantities down considerably and it took AGES to make, but the end result was so amazingly perfect that it was totally worth the wait!

The recipe calls for Meyer lemons which you don’t seem to get here – so I simply used the mix of lemon and orange Tal Ronnen suggested and it worked out beautifully!

Ingredients

Sea salt

500g Asparagus – cleaned and chopped into 1 inch pieces

Freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 shallots, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 cup barley alternatively you can use 1 cup Arborio rice

1/2 cup plus a splash of dry white wine

6 cups vegetable stock (it seems like a lot but barley needs a lot in order for it to soften)

Grated zest of 1 large lemon and 1 clemantine

Juice of 1 large lemon and 1 clemantine

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Method

Fill a small pot with water.  Add 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil.  Blanch the asparagus in the boiling water for 1 minute, then chill in an ice bath, drain, and sprinkle with a pinch each of salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Place a large saute pan with steep sides over medium heat.  Sprinkle the bottom with a pinch of salt and heat for 1 minute.  Add the oil and heat for 30 seconds, being careful not to let it smoke.  This will create a nonstick effect.

Add the shallots and saute for 3 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.

Add a pinch of salt and the rice and saute for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the ½ cup wine and cook, stirring constantly, until it has been completely absorbed and evaporated.  Add the stock, 1 cup at a time, cooking and stirring after each addition until all the liquid is absorbed. 

As you cook the rice, season periodically with salt and pepper, tasting after each addition.

Fold in the citrus zest, the asparagus, and a splash of wine and continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes, until the asparagus is heated through and the risotto is thick and creamy.

Remove from the heat and gently stir in the citrus juices.  Adjust the seasoning as necessary. 

Serve immediately with a few toasted pine nuts sprinkled on top.

 This risotto turned out perfect, tart but not too tart, creamy without being heavy and I was left feeling completely satisfied.

The verdict: Definately making this again! And I would wholeheartedly recommend you give it a try!

NOTE: This is a modified version of Tal Ronnen’s Asparagus and Meyer Lemon Risotto – for the original recipe you will have to reference his book The Conscious Cook, as mentioned in my previous post.

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Posted by on January 15, 2010 in Cookbook, Food, Indulge, Recipes, Vegan

 

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For the Love of Vegan Cookbooks

 

The Conscious Cook - Tal Ronnen

 

Unfortunately I live in a city where being vegan is virtually unheard of, and an absolute struggle. Walking into a bookshop to find a vegan cookbook was a challenge in itself, there were only two, Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet just did not seem to excite me when I picked it up and thumbed through it – I wanted to see pictures of food, not pictures of her. Then I laid my eyes on Tal Ronnen’s The Conscious Cook, and instantly I knew I was in love. Every picture inspired me, and every recipe filled me with confidence.

I know that you think i’m crazy. I mean, how can someone fall in love with a cookbook? But trust me, when you are running low on inspiration, sometimes a book to inspire you is all you need. 

I first heard about Tal Ronnen in September when reading about Oprah’s 21 day vegan detox, following that he catered Ellen De Generous and Portia de Rossi’s vegan wedding. I never thought to look out for his book though! It was also voted one of the best cookbooks of 2009 by Epicurious.com

Featuring  wholesome, rich, creamy, and hearty soups, to sensational salads and finger foods, to a striking array of vegan entrees – all of which I am SO excited to try! 

The Verdict: Please buy it. It’s amazing. In the days / weeks following this post I guarentee you will be seeing Tal Ronnen’s recipes appear..

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2010 in Cookbook, Food, Indulge, Recipes, Vegan, Weight Loss

 

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