Winter is cold, even in Malta. This time of the year you want something warm, comforting, which makes you feel cosy and to be enjoyed with a glass of lovely red wine. For me a risotto is just the perfect food these days. I always think, no.. it’s a lot of work, but actually there’s nothing cosier on a dark cold winter day than stay at home, open a bottle of wine, put on some nice music and start cooking a risotto. Perfect with some nice company as you don’t really have to focus much on the cooking!
What I also like with risotto is the fact that you can actually throw anything in it what your fridge gives you. Left overs of wine, any kind of veggies and cheese. Doesn’t matter if you went shopping or not, I guess you’ll always find something you can make a risotto with.
In my case I wanted to use up a box of mushrooms and a lovely bunch of green asparagus. So I cleaned the asparagus and shortly cooked it in boiling water with some salt and lemon and kept the water for later. The cut up mushrooms I fried in a pan with some olive oil, oregano, thyme and seasoned with salt, pepper and a tiny bit of balsamic vinegar. In the meantime I fried the cut up onion slowly on medium heat, added the garlic and the risotto rice until fragrant nice and shiny. Then start to top up with liquids, but only as much to cover the rice. During you finish the veggies and set the table never forget to top up with liquids. When everything is ready (ca. 20min later) and the risotto rice is al dente add the knob of butter, the grated cheese and some of the veggies. Stir it, so the cheese melts, and decorate on a nice plate with some of the asparagus and mushrooms on the side. Lovely with some salad and wine. Enjoy with some nice company and music :-)
1 box of mushrooms
1 bunch of asparagus
2 cloves of garlic
2 cups of risotto
liquids: left overs of white wine, 0,5l of veggie stock (I used the asparagus stock)
olive oil, knob of butter
some nice herbs e.g. dried oregano & thyme, rosmary etc.
parmesan or similar cheese (grated)