I got a couple of cook books for christmas, and "Ramsay's Best Menus" was one of them, so I thought I had to try and make something out of it. And it turned out pretty darn tasty, I must say! Originally it should have been made with wild mushrooms, but there were none in sight this Sunday afternoon, so I made it 50/50 with button mushrooms and chestnut mushrooms, trying to slice them nicely for extra texture and presentation.
152 Baked Courgette and "Tamed" Mushroom Risotto
(Serves 4, about 400 calories each)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large garlic cloves, finely sliced
Basil sprigs, leaves only, finely chopped
2-3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
A squeeze of lemon juice
550-600 ml vegetable- or chicken stock
200 g arborio rice
100 ml dry white wine
200 g mushrooms, preferably wild, but like I mentioned I used 100 g of each button- and chestnut mushrooms - cleaned and halved, sliced if they are quite large
2-3 tbsp freshly grated parmesan
- Heat oven to 200°C, and line a large baking tray with foil.
-Half the cougettes lengthways, and slice it criss-cross over the surcafe of each courgette, it looks rather fancy! Now, place them on the baking tray - cut side up, and season with a little salt and pepper, followed by garlic slices and basil. Finish off with a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Bake for 30-40 minutes until they're roasted.
- In the meantime, you can chop the mushrooms, and make everything prepared. Boil up water and resolve the stock, leave it in a small pan on the side.
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large pan and add the risotto rice, stir for about a minute before adding the wine. Bubble it up and as soon as it has soaked up most of the wine, add a ladleful of the stock and stir. Now you can chop up your courgettes nicely and leave them until they're required. Stir regularly!
- Keep feeding the risotto with a little stock at a time, wait until it has absorbed it almost fully before adding more, this will give it a really nice, creamy texture.
- Once out of stock the rice should still be a little tough, but close to cooked, turn off the heat, stir in the chopped courgettes and leave for a few minutes.
- Now is a great time to get a frying pan out, heat up about 1 tbsp of olive oil and fry the mushrooms with a little salt and pepper. Leave them for about 3-4 minutes until they're starting to release their juices.
- If desired, add a little more stock to the risotto as you turn the hob on a low heat to heat it up. Season with salt and pepper to taste (I only needed to add a little bit of each, but it made all the difference!), grate in most of the parmesan and stir in the mushrooms - you can save a little for garnish if you want.
- Divide the risotto between four deep plates or shallow bowls and top with a little grated parmesan, and optionally some of the mushroom if you reserved some of it. Enjoy - I know I sure did!
Ramsay's Best Menus, NO 152
PS. For a vegan risotto, just opt out on the parmesan, it will still be really creamy!