Strawberry-blood orange risotto

Just a heads up, this is not a dessert. If you thought that I was going to make some kind of sweet rice porridge and call it a risotto, then YOU’RE WRONG. This risotto, but all definition, is savory. Yes, I’m using fruit in my rice, but that’s besides the point. For all of you who do not know what risotto is, watch Hell’s Kitchen it is a creamy rice porridge/stew type thing where the rice is cooked down with wine, stock, and finished with cream, cheese, butter, or all three. Traditionally a peasant dish in Italy, it has since made its way into a lot of fine dining restaurants. Fun fact: in Masterchef Australia, it is actually dubbed the “death dish” because everyone who makes it gets eliminated from how difficult it is to evenly cook the rice. On Top Chef, there has been a “curse of risotto” which basically holds the same superstition that those who cook risotto are doomed to fail from the get-go. Luckily, you are not being timed on national television, so if you do fuck it up, you have all the time in the world to redeem yourself.

Like I already stated in the title, the flavors of this risotto are strawberry and blood orange. However, I accent the strawberry using thyme, artichoke, and celery, all of which just make it taste similar to tomato. For the blood orange, I’m using the peel and the leftover juice after taking out the segments in a stock, while the segments will go with radishes (both the root and the greens), and orange zest to create a gremolata to garnish the risotto with. In my eyes, being that little bit weird or different is important, because those differences really make you an individual, not a follower or a conformist.

For the risotto:
2 cups arborio rice
2 baby artichokes, diced
1/3 cup finely diced celery
1 cup strawberries; diced
a pinch of salt
a pinch of thyme
2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese

For the broth:
Baked strawberry leaves (bake at 350 F for 10 minutes)
Artichoke leaves
Blood orange peels
Blood orange juice (from the remnants after you segment the blood orange)
a pinch of salt
a pinch of thyme

Literally just boil everything together, then bring to a simmer. Keep warm for when you’re making the risotto, and if you run out of liquid to add into the risotto, just keep adding water into the solids and continue cooking that.

For gremolata:
1/4 cup sliced strawberries
1/3 cup blood orange segments
3 tablespoons orange zest; chopped
2 radishes, sliced thinly on the mandolin
greens from 2 radishes; rinsed and chiffonaded
3 tablespoons olive oil
a pinch of salt
a pinch of thyme

Just toss it together. If you want, you can throw it at somebody’s house if they annoy you, and that will probably leave a very difficult to remove stain on their wall, but you can also just eat it and not get in trouble. Just throwing out options there.


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