Some dishes cannot be rushed through. It needs extra time, more love and a cook’s unbroken attention. Gently mixing with a wooden spoon, allowing the white sticky rice to bathe in flavorful broth, observe as it absorbs all the moisture and grow in size. Give it another bath, another quiet stir and watch it get fluffy with time. Risotto is not a weekday feast, unless you have ample time in hand to stand by the stove. It’s a heartening classy dish that fulfills your soul at every spoonful. It’s an art to prepare risotto and after numerous flopped shots, I can now gladly say that I am close.
For someone like me, who almost always chooses a quick meal that doesn’t call for slow cooking, I found it very tough to study the technique of risotto making. You cook it at a high heat and it will get mushy leaving the rice uncooked. You prepare it at a low heat, and the rice will get overcooked making it soggy. Bleh!! The heat has to be just perfect. It was not easy to figure out the right temperature by reading recipes or watching videos. Every stove acts differently. One has to just figure it out by trial and error.
During those unsuccessful attempts, I also learned that risotto tastes best when not overloaded with flavors. Keep it simple, make it creamy and maintain that bite with separate grains. That’s the key.
I chose seasonal produce. Peas and asparagus always work together wonderfully. Both have a similar flavor profile, light on the palate, arrives in the market almost at the same time and both are gorgeous green in color. And let’s not forget how photogenic both these veggies are. I never get bored of photographing peas and asparagus.
It was a perfect summer Sunday lunch. I was convinced when I saw Arvind nod as he gobbled couple spoonfuls. It’s his way of saying ‘good job’! The guy likes anything I prepare but that nod happens only when he really loves a dish. Let’s remember that a good risotto doesn’t demand a lot! It just needs your constant presence, your time and fresh ingredients.