I've decided to do something a little different and make a sweet risotto rather than the traditional savoury risotto. This dish is inspired by a strawberry risotto I had a couple of years ago. As a celebration of the season, I've combined poached cherries (you'll find that recipe if you follow the link) with arborio rice and used a milk and cream mixture as my stock to create, Cherry Risotto.
[Serves 4 or 2 greedy people]
1 cup arborio rice
45 grams butter
3 cups milk
1 cup cream
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
Poached cherries, with reserved juice
Place the milk, cream and vanilla bean paste into a saucepan and bring gently to boiling point.
Meanwhile, begin melting the butter in a large saucepan and then add the rice. Stir well to ensure the rice is well coated in the butter. Cook this for a few minutes - you want the rice to get glossy and a bit translucent.
Add a half cup of the boiling milk mixture. This should absorb fairly quickly and as soon as it has, add another half cup. Keep stirring and when this has absorbed add another half cup and 1 tablespoon of the reserved poached cherry liquid. This is going to be my sweetener and it will also colour the risotto.
You need to continue this process of stirring and adding the just boiling milk and poaching liquid - you'll notice that the time between additions will get longer as the rice cooks.
When you've got about 1 cup of milk mixture left - add a half cup of drained poached cherries to the risotto and continue as before.
The risotto is finished when the rice has softened and become creamy - it should by now have a lovely delicate rose blush to it.
Serve hot with a spoonful of reserved poached cherry juice and some extra poached cherries on top.
It's almost too pretty to eat - almost ;)