Preserved Lemon & Sumac Risotto

Hi, how are you?  You’re reading the first ever post on fork this.  You may or may not know, but I had another blog, Happy Belly, and after 5 years of that I’ve decided to do a more… “grown-up” blog..? “Proper”, “mature”, “sophisticated” – I don’t really know what adjective I’m looking for.  Making it”grown-up”, however, has been a process of immense stress and frustration.  I should have done more research before I just dived in with my credit card.  With the first blog it all seemed to just fall into place, like I don’t recall spending days on finding the right font.

Anyway, here I am with a fresh start!IMG_9360.jpgLet’s start with risotto, as it’s one of my favorite things to cook, it’s one of the few things in which I feel like I do quite well at, and it is so easy to just let your imaginations run wild.  I dug into my cupboard and finally opened up that jar of preserved lemons, chopped that up, and threw it in the risotto along with some sumac for some colorful and fresh acidity. Like any risotto, you start with oil + chopped onion, let that soften, add rice, stir, add wine, stir, add stock, stir, add more stock and stir and repeat. It’s just a lot of stirring which can be cumbersome if you’re not in the mood.  You have to be in the mood for making a risotto.  And it’s not one of those therapeutic stirrings, you’re not making porridge (the proper way), you stir with a firm and attentive hand.

IMG_9351 (1).jpgServes 2
1 large shallot, finely chopped
160g risotto rice (such as canaroli or arborio)
100ml white wine
500ml chicken stock (or veg)
1 preserved lemon, finely chopped
1 generous tbsp mascarpone (or cold butter)
40g parmesan
Sumac, to taste
Olive oil

Make sure you have the stock in a pot simmering over medium heat.

Heat olive oil in a separate pan (enough to coat the bottom) and add the shallot.  Fry over medium heat for a couple of minutes until softened.

Add the risotto and stir to make sure it’s evenly coated in the oil – a few minutes

Add the wine and let it cook away until evaporated.  Then add enough stock to cover the rice and stir quite regularly from time to time until it’s evaporated.  Then add more stock and repeat the process until the rice is cooked.  Before you add your final bit of stock, stir in the preserved lemon.

When the rice is cooked (you may not have needed all the stock), stir in the mascarpone (or butter) and the parmesan.   Salt and pepper to taste, serve immediately, with a sprinkling of sumac.




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