Risotto with braised and pickled onions

A recipe from Ebra Brusca

This is a recipe from a particularly rustic corner of central Milan that makes the perfect summer weeknight dinner. At Erba Brusca, where she has her own herb garden, the chef Alice Delcourt cooks up exquisite dishes that always chime with Wendell Berry’s famous mantra, ‘eating is an agricultural act’. And if you want to put those words into action? We can think of few ways better than this ace risotto recipe she’s just sent over.

Ingredients for six people

500g carnaroli rice
400g spring onions
One small red onion
100ml olive oil
Half a bunch of marjoram
1.5l vegetable stock
One tablespoon of honey
Two tablespoons of butter
Two tablespoons of parmesan
One cup of white wine vinegar

Thinly slice the spring onions and place in a large, heavy pan with a pinch of salt and the olive oil. Braise until very soft and creamy (at least an hour). Using a mandolin, slice the red onion into thin rounds, season with salt, leave to stand for 15 minutes, squeeze out excess water, pack into a container and cover with white wine vinegar. Put aside.

Heat the vegetable stock in a pot. Toast the rice over medium/high heat in a small amount of oil until too hot to touch and then cover with some of the stock, stir constantly until the stock has been absorbed and then cover again with more stock. Repeat until rice is cooked al dente (12 to 13 minutes), adding the braised spring onions towards the end of cooking.

Take off the heat and leave to cool for a minute. Vigorously beat in the butter, cheese and oil until your rice turns to a nice creamy emulsion. Plate up, top with a few scattered pickled onions, pepper and a generous helping of marjoram leaves. A tavola!

As an accompaniment, Alice Delcourt says this unctuous risotto will go well with a glass of Langhe Bianco San Fereolo Dogliani, a wine from nearby Piedmont.

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