Recipes from food stylist Nicolas Ghirlando: Fish fingers to Friday nights.

Wild garlic risotto

wildgarlicrisotto

Wild garlic is in full flower in late April and May, so now is the time to get it. Mine grows in the garden, but it’s easy to find in churchyards, woods and fields. The flowers are edible and tasty, as well as looking really pretty on the plate. Its uses range from pesto to soups and, in this recipe, risotto. I like to use Carnaroli rice for its creaminess, but feel free to use other types. You could even substitute spelt for the rice, adjusting the liquid and cooking time as required.

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

Ingredients
1l vegetable stock, preferably homemade
Olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 small shallots, finely sliced
Half a glass of white wine, better still, vermouth (optional)
A large handful of wild garlic leaves and a good sprinkle of the flowers
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp grated parmesan
A dash of truffle oil if you’re feeling luxurious
Salt to season

Method

  1. Heat the stock in a saucepan and keep it warm on the stove.
  2. In a deep, heavy bottomed pan sauté the garlic and shallots in a little olive oil until soft, then add the rice and a pinch of salt. Stir well and toast the rice for a minute.
  3. Add the vermouth if using and let it reduce right down. Add the stock a ladleful at a time, only adding another when the previous ladleful has been absorbed. Make sure you keep stirring the rice to release the starch for a creamy risotto.
  4. Halfway through, add half of the finely sliced wild garlic leaves and stir well.
  5. Finish adding the stock, then vigorously stir in the butter and Parmesan while shaking the pan.
  6. Stir in the remaining leaves, cover and rest for five minutes. Check the seasoning; add the garlic flowers and serve.

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