Friday, July 19, 2013

Summer Risotto with Shrimp, Asparagus, and Spinach and Summer Truffle

Now Risotto is one of my favorite things to make for a dinner party because it is so easy to prep, par cook, and then finish at the last minute before serving. It is a dish which conjours up rib sticking wintery foods for when the weather outside is cold and the body needs warming.

Risotto is far from a winter dish. It can be laden with earthy flavors like mushrooms and squash and meats and root vegetables.  It is however a delightful summery meal when paired with fresh seasonal ingredients like shellfish and fresh vegetables available from the farmers market during the summer months.

I chose to make this risotto in order to have something hearty to serve at a dinner party recently it was sort of a take on shrimp and rice salad which in Charleston is popular amongst my mother's set. Rice salads were an old school way of feeding a lot of people in the heat and could be served room temperature and be plated elegantly. I like a rice salad but today with air conditioning one can indulge in a little warm food in the Summertime heat.

Rice is a huge part of the low country's history. Rice was one of the first and the last crops which were farmed and traded. It was part of the famous triangle trade ( Molasses to Rum to Slaves, thank you "1776", the Musical ) however indigo and cotton and rice were in there too. And Charleston got very rich on it. The problem was that the agriculture in the low country was only possible due to cheap human labor ( aka. slavery). The topography was such that the very water which helped to grow the crops also made it almost impossible to use heavy machinery. So as soon as slavery ended the plantation owners were done in by the very land they had fought to protect. Tractors and such were impossible to use and rice farming and cotton farming in the low country all but disappeared.

Then in the 1980's a couple of guys got together and decided to try and retry planting a heritage rice in the soil of the Charleston low country. That rice known today as Carolina Gold rice is the heritage of the rice planters from bygone days. It is a nutty, rich and hearty rice with great flavor and texture and is now available for sale everywhere gourmet rice is sold. Sounds like an ad no? I should have done advertising!

So for my summer risotto I included many flavors I enjoy. Combined them all together and created a really nice summer dish that is both easy and elegant. I suppose you could eat this any time of year but Summer seemed to be the right time to make this. Give it a try. Enjoy Ya'll

Shrimp Risotto with Asparagus, Spinach and Summer Truffles

serves 4 to 6


1 1/4 cups Arborio Rice
oilve oil
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup white wine
1 yellow onion diced
2 cloves garlic finely minced
1 pound shrimp deveined and tails removed cut into 3 pieces
1 bunch asparagus cut into small diced discs and cooked for 2 mins in microwave
2 cups packed baby spinach
1 cup parmesan cheese grated
1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
white truffle oil
chopped parsley about 1/4 cup


Heat 4 tablespoons oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large pan
add onion and saute to 1 minute add garlic saute one minute more
add rice and cook until a little toasted about 4 mins
Add salt and pepper
Add wine and slowly cook until absorbed
Then add the broth one cup at a time slowly stirring until each cup is absorbed them adding the next
This will take about 20 to 25 minutes
When still slightly wet add the asparagus and then the spinach
Once Spinach is wilted add the shrimp
Stir in Shrimp and cook till they turn pale pink
Immediately add the milk, butter, cheese and truffle oil to taste ( I'd use about 2 to 3 tablespoons )
Check for seasoning add salt if needed
Stir in together and add the parsley just before serving

No comments:

Post a Comment