Simona from Bricole is our host for this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging and this week I'll be using spinach
Funny looking spinach but I was a very bad blogger and while in Italy didn't post nearly as much as I thought I would which means I do have some things left over to write about from my time there - this spinach is one of them.
Whether it be in the market or some little shop, you would see these balls of boiled spinach or cime di rapa or chard available. I'm not really a person that buys pre-made things but when in Italy, do as the locals do.
We all know that spinach is good for us, full of Vitamins and antioxidants I decided to make a rather nourishing Spinach risotto. Now instead of doing the traditional "mantecato" of butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano I thought I'd take a different approach and use this instead
It's called Stracchino and it is a soft and creamy cows milk cheese with a rather mild flavour, you see it used in Piadina in Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna. Added at the end it gives the risotto a wonderful creamy texture - it's cheesy without feeling heavy and with the spinach, I thought it made a perfect match.
Spinach Risotto with Stracchino
1 onion, chopped finely
1 carrot, chopped finely
1 stalk celery, chopped finely
Aquerello Rice or your favourite Risotto Rice
chicken or vegetable stock
salt and freshly ground white pepper
Heat a little oil and a good amount of butter in a deep pan over a medium heat and when the butter has melted add the onion, carrot and celery - sauté until softened but not coloured before adding the rice.
Cook the rice off until the grains are glossy and have become a bit translucent.
Add a ladle of bubbling stock - it should evaporate pretty quickly and when it has, add another, remembering to stir the rice as you do to keep it fluffy.
Once this stock has been absorbed, continue to add stock, you can increase the quantity of stock you add each time but remember to keep an eye on the pot and to stir the rice well. About half way through the cooking time add in the cooked spinach.
When the rice is just about ready and the last of the stock has been absorbed add in the Stracchino stirring it vigorously into the risotto - taste and adjust the seasoning.
Serve at once.
If you have any leftover, then this makes a great base for arancini.
Tagged with Weekend Herb Blogging