Friday, 29 June 2012

Meals a deux - Garlic Scape and Fennel Risotto

Did I make rash statements about eating with my children the other day. Well, we don’t always. Sometimes it‘s nice to eat just the two of us.

Sometimes, we want to eat something that despite my best efforts, they just won’t eat – neither of them can deal with a proper hot curry yet, and while mostly I’m happy to lay off the heat, sometimes, I just want to go for it.

Sometimes, when it’s just been a bit full on, it’s essential nice to get them in bed and crack open the wine relax.

On Monday, it was my turn to host the after school hordes. The girls don't have choir any more, so while the boys were at football, I spent an energetic 40 minutes playing hide and seek with them and the dog, before scooping up the boys and taking them home. Pasta with bolognaise sauce from the freezer for them, but I had my eye on a bigger prize for the Husband and I.

the green garlic is in the middle.
You can just see some 'scapes'

One of my purchases on Sunday at the Hampshire Farmers’ Market was 3 heads of green garlic with their ‘scapes’. I had to google ‘scape’ because I didn’t know that it meant the long green bits, but I do now. And so do you. My garlic scapes looked a little like leeks, and they might have dried out a bit, but I was keen to do something with them.

The nice man at The Garlic Farm stall gave me a couple of recipes with my garlic, and contemplating dinner on Monday, and wondering what to do with the fennel bulb I had bought, and the cheese, I came up with

Green Garlic Scape and Fennel risotto

(serves 2)

Ingredients: a knob of butter and some olive oil, 3 green garlic scapes, finely chopped, 1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and fairly finely chopped (if you get fronds, save them and finely chop to sprinkle as garnish at the end – it looks very pretty), 150 g risotto rice, 1 glass of white wine, approx 400 ml veg stock, 50 g Twineham grange Vegetarian pasta cheese, finely grated, salt and pepper

Method: gently heat the olive oil and butter in a wide pan which has a lid, till the butter is melted then add the scapes and fennel and fry gently for about 10 minutes till soft but not coloured (if you can). Add  the rice, stir to combine and cook for about a minute, then pour in the wine and allow it to bubble and cook as you stir, until the wine is almost absorbed.

Once the wine is gone, add the stock a little at a time, stirring until nearly absorbed. I read somewhere that if you can pull your wooden spoon through the risotto and it leaves a path, it’s time to add the next lot of liquid.

Continue cooking till the rice is pretty much tender but still has some bite to it.
Stir in the cheese and another knob of butter, then put the lid on and leave to sit for a couple of minutes.

Remove the lid, sprinkle with the chopped fennel fronds if you have them

Divide between 2 plates. Serve with a grown up glass of chilled white wine and enjoy the silence.

p.s. I drafted this post a couple of nights ago. This morning, I remembered that I had also chopped up some of the Husband's home made (thanks River Cottage) prosciutto type ham and chucked that in towards the end. It was a tasty addition, but as you can see, I'd forgotten about it, so I add this more as an afterthought.

1 comment:

  1. This looks great. Love the fennel leafy bit added too, looks great


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