What better way is there to spend a warm spring evening than eating al fresco, surrounded by the heady scent of roses and birdsong, eating a fragrant risotto and sipping a well chilled glass of white wine. I can’t actually think of any.
The essence of a good risotto is Italian Arborio rice and patience. Patience is a virtue that we have all had to learn how to practice during this difficult period, and a lesson that I for one, needed to learn.
The pleasure that I get from my garden is second to none, and I feel blessed that this period of confinement has given me the opportunity to see it change and grow from the emerging of the tulips and apple blossom, to the very first white flowers on my fledgling lilac tree. followed by bluebells, cornflowers and iris, and the anticipation of the peonies, who, when they finally arrived, did not disappoint. Now it is the turn of the roses ……
The mild creaminess of the leeks and the subtle floral, sweetness of the mango, works amazingly well with the slightly salty prawns. I added a little dusting of paprika to my prawns to give a little extra je ne sais quoi.
1 cup of Arborio rice
1tablespoon of butter
1 small leek finely chopped
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
1/2 a large ripe mango cut into 1cm cubes
1 cup of cooked prawns cut in to two of three, depending on the size
1/2 cup of medium sweet white wine
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 litre of mild vegetable stock (I used 1/2 a Knorr cube with herbs and olive oil for pasta or rice)
Gently soften the leeks in the melted butter, taking care not to brown
Add the garlic and rice and stir until completely coated in the butter and gently cook, stirring gently for around five minutes (the smell of the garlic and leeks is amazing.)
add the white wine and allow to reduce slightly, then add the lemon juice
Stir in the stock 1 ladleful at a time until the stock has been almost all been absorbed and the rice is fully cooked (add extra water if necessary – I still had a little stock left in the jug)
Gently stir in the mango and heat through, then add the prawns and gently stir until they are heated through also and the rice fluffy.
Serve immediately in warm bowls and decorate with a prawn.
I sprinkled mine with paprika, but a little parmesan works well also.
This is one of my favourite ‘go to’ dishes, as it is so simple, yet so delicious. I also serve this in small ramekins as an entree
Let me know if you try it