I don't know about you, but I need colour at this time of the year. The golden leaves are now lying in a mud sodden heap, the russet hedges are becoming blackened sticks and as for the glorious hot pink cyclamen I planted, the last time I saw them a small dog was running up the garden with them in her mouth - the less said about that the better. So colour in the kitchen it has to be...
I love Risotto at this time of the year and I'm lucky enough to have a good stock of a really good Arborio rice courtesy of the FriendlyGrocer (who also happens to be Gardengirls husband).
FriendlyGrocer and his family have the most amazing Grocery and Deli in Finchley and we always try to make a trip there when were back in the big smoke to stock up on Cypriot and Mediterranean delicacies that are hard to get hold of. Id been saving my last pack of FGs special rice for a special recipe and this one certainly did the trick.
From Tessa Kiros 'Red plums for jam', the Red rice is actually a Tomato Risotto and very easy to make,
1.25litres Vegetable stock/ broth
2 Garlic Cloves (whole)
Half Red Onion, finely chopped
Pinch of dried chilli flakes
200g Risotto Rice
250ml Tinned Chopped Tomatoes
2 Basil Leaves
20g Parmesan Cheese
100g Mozzarella (cut into small chunks)
Grated Parmesan to serve
Saute the onion and garlic over a low heat for a bout 5 mins then stir in the chilli flakes and rice and cook for another minute. Add half the Tomatoes, half the basil and 375 ml of the stock.
Simmer for 10 mins on a low heat and add more stock as needed, stirring it now and them just to make sure it doesn't stick, add the rest of the stock and the tomatoes and simmer for another 10 mins. Fish out the garlic cloves and stir in the Parmesan and mozzarella. As soon as the mozzarella starts to melt your good to go - just sprinkle the extra Parmesan on top!
I served mine with pork schnitzels, but it was just as good on its own and a real winner with the little Freerangers, who whilst quite conservative in their culinary tastes were convinced it was just ketchup and rice, so tucked straight in!
But now my last bag of arborio has gone - so if your listening at Tony's Continental Store - put me some aside for the New Year please, and some macaroni, and some beans, and some octopus, and dolmades and...I tell you what, I'll bring a list!