Thursday, 7 November 2013

Applewood Spreadable Challenge: Creamy Pea, Courgette and Mint Risotto

This is the second of three recipes I’ve devised for the Applewood Spreadable #SpreadStirShare challenge to create delicious family recipes using Applewood Spreadable. My first was Cheesy Pea, Leek and Pancetta Gnocchi Bake and this time it’s a Creamy Pea, Courgette and Mint Risotto. Perhaps a little summery and certainly a classic combination – but with the addition of crème fraiche and Applewood Spreadable it makes for a rich, luxurious, creamy tasting risotto – and that for me, never goes out of season.

I served this with a portion of rocket and some homemade garlic toasts (French stick sliced diagonally, rubbed with a halved garlic clove all over and drizzled with a tiny bit of olive oil then griddled on a high heat for 1-2 minutes on each side) and it served four of us.

Here’s how:

5 spring onions
1 large garlic clove
75g fresh peas
2 small courgettes
2 tbsp fresh mint
1-1.5 pints chicken stock
1 glass dry white wine
2 tbsp crème fraiche
1 tbsp Applewood Spreadable
250g Arborio rice
Salt & pepper to taste
2 tbsp olive oil

Firstly crush your garlic and chop the spring onions and add this to the pan on a medium heat with the olive oil until starting to soften.

Slice the courgettes on a diagonal and add to the pan and allow to fry until a little crisp and golden on each side, then remove the courgettes and keep to the side, covered to keep warm.

Next add the rice to the pan and use a wooden or plastic spoon to move around to ensure all rice gets coated with the oil. Allow to cook for about five minutes and then add the wine to the pan with a good pinch of salt and pepper.

Once the wine has been almost completely absorbed, add a ladle full of the chicken stock, keep stirring and continue the process for the next fifteen minutes or so, adding more stock as it is absorbed. (My Dad and I have an ongoing argument about whether or not the stock should be heated before adding to risotto – I say it doesn’t matter, he disagrees – if anybody has any thoughts do feel free to share!)

Once you have used about a pint of the stock, taste the rice to see if it is beginning to soften enough to your particular taste. Different rice seems to respond in different ways and needs varying amounts of stock, so continue to taste until the rice has become soft enough throughout.

Now you need to add the peas and stir through and then return the courgettes to the pan too and cook for a further few minutes, stirring all the while. Now add the Applewood Spreadable and as much of the crème fraiche as you fancy – 2 tbsp makes for a rich and creamy texture which I adore, but if you don’t want it to creamy, then just reduce the amount.

Taste once more and add seasoning accordingly. Chop up the mint and stir through about half to the dish, then once it’s been dished up, add a final flourish of mint leaves to each portion for some added zing and freshness. Enjoy!

To find out more about Applewood Cheese, Applewood Spreadable and the #SpreadStirShare challenge as well as keeping up with the other recipes from some fabulous other bloggers check out the Applewood news blog:

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