I love books, reading and also collecting them. While Fiction in general & espionage/detective in specific are my favourites, I like all types of books. Autobiographies, plays, Factual, Science and so on, with the only exception of the self help kind of books, but again I have read quite a few of them as well.
A recent addition to the above categories is Cookery. I can easily say that my exploration of cook books started because of this blog. Reading others’ posts describing a recipe from a particular cook book, reading reviews of cook books etc made me aware of them and I also realised that this, apart from the vast internet of course, is a good source of new recipes that I might like to try.
And so it began, I started to look out for cook books apart from the usual Jeffrey Archer, Dan Brown, John Grisham, Agatha Christie, Frederick Forsyth, Tom Clancy… (the list is endless), resulting in me spending even more time in front of the window of a book shop! But did I actually buy a cook book? Sadly, No. The main reason being that most of them contained dishes which included meat & sea food and being a vegetarian these were not an option at all. So buying the book for a handful of vegetarian recipes did not seem right to me.
The next best thing to do was browse the cookery section in the local Library. I did get some good books but somehow never got to making them and the recipes have been carefully noted down in my diary for future reference. But this time I chanced upon this one – Delia’s Vegetarian Collection. Needless to say the ‘vegetarian’ caught my eye & the knowledge that Delia Smith is supposed to be one of the leading chefs in UK also helped. I flicked the pages to see the actual content. The photographs held my attention & before I knew it I was back home with book.
This book has almost everything a vegetarian would want in a cook book. Soups, Salads, Rice, Cheese, Main course, Desserts – all simple and tryable recipes, some classic, some fusion and some new ones.
I started with this simple Risotto recipe which looked completely authentic except for one thing. The recipe in the book asks for the risotto to be cooked in the oven, while I have always seen on cookery shows & read on websites that it is to be made on the stove top and that the way the stock is added (see recipe below), is very important. So I took the recipe & ingredients from the book but cooked it on the stove top as described below and also adapted the recipe to suit the ingredients I had in hand.
Risotto Verde means ‘Green Risotto’ where Risotto itself means a dish of rice cooked in a broth.
- 1 cup Risotto Rice (Arborio)
- 1 tblsp Butter
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3-4 tblsp white wine
- about 200 ml Vegetable stock (I used readymade stock cubes to make this)
- 1-2 tsp chopped fresh Sage
- 3 tblsp chopped spring onions
- 1/2 cup Asparagus, cut into small rounds
- 2 tblsp chopped chives
- 2-3 tblsp Parmesan
- Salt & Pepper
Melt the butter in a pan and add the onion. Fry this for about 5-7 minutes until the onion is cooked & just starts to brown.
Add the rice and mix to coat the rice with the butter and onion.
Add the wine and mix. Let the wine reduce completely.
Add a ladle full of the stock, stir and cook on medium-low flame. Wait for the stock to reduce and then add the sage, salt and pepper.
Add another ladle of stock and continue to cook on medium-low flame till it reduces.
Keep adding the stock, one ladle at a time, and cook on medium low flame. Check if the rice is cooked after about 15-20 min.
Once the rice is almost cooked, add the asparagus, spring onion and Parmesan along with a ladle of stock. Cook till the stock reduces completely.
Switch off the flame and add the chopped chives. Serve hot topped with some more parmesan and chives.
My Notes: This was the first time I had attempted to make a risotto at home & I was really pleased with the result.
Since the recipe in the book was for 6 people, I had to reduce the quantities and so the quantity of stock mentioned above is an approximation, please make adjustments as necessary. I had to use plain water in the end since I had run out of stock!
The recipe also had Broad Beans, but I did not have any with me so I haven't used them. If you are using them, add them along with the Asparagus and spring onions.