Flavor Alchemy

Relating the journey through the science and art of cooking.

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Apple-lavender risotto

Right after the deadline of the sixth TGRWT, the Washington Post, the local newspaper, published a recipe for apple risotto. I tried the recipe with lavender and a few small changes and it turned out really well. The day after I made the dish, my daughter ate the leftovers instead of the lasagna we had made for lunch.

For this recipe I used a larger amount of lavender than I did for my TGRWT #6 submission and it did not have the soapy taste I feared. I also followed Magnus’ suggestion and simmered the lavender. The credit for the recipe goes to Stephanie Witt Sedgwick from the Washington Post, who developed the original recipe as a part of a collection of recipes using apples.

For this recipe you will need:

  • 3 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons of dried lavender flowers
  • 2 mild Italian sausages (450 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 230g (1 and 1/4 cup) of Arborio rice
  • 1 large onion (150g chopped)
  • 1 tart apple (124g chopped)
  • 1 sweet apple (124g chopped)
  • 1 cup of apple cider
  • 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese (24 grams)
  • 1/4 cup of pine nuts (34 grams)
  • Chive tube leaves for decoration

I did not have the apple cider that Stephanie’s recipe called for so instead I made a thin apple sauce: one apple chopped in pieces boiled for 5 minutes with half a cup of water and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. For the chicken broth I used Better than Bouillon, which has a lot of salt. If you use a salt-free broth add between 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt to the dish right before you add the first cup of broth.

1. Heat the chicken broth with the lavender flowers until it boils. Remove from the heat.

2. Melt the butter on large sauté pan. Cut the casings of the sausages lengthwise and drop the filing into the sauté pan. Fry for 5 minutes, but do not brown. Crumble the sausage meat with a spoon while it fries. While the sausage cooks, dice the onions.

3. Add the onions and fry until they become translucent.

4. Add the rice, chopped apple, and the pine nuts. Mix until the grains are coated with oil. Pour about a cup of the chicken broth with lavender. Set the heat to low. Mix and cover the pan.

5. Set a timer for 30 minutes. As soon as the bottom of the pan appears dry, add about another half a cup of broth, mix, and cover. Repeat whenever the bottom dries out. Alternate between the broth and the apple cider after the first two cups of broth.

6. If you run out of broth and cider, make some more broth and continue the process just with the broth. After 30 minutes, try the rice. You may need to cook for another 10 to 15 minutes until it feels cooked. The dish will be creamy-looking.

7. Once cooked, remove from heat and mix in the Parmesan cheese. Put on a serving dish and sprinkle with finely chopped chives. You can also plate the risotto. Oil a small teacup, press the cooked risotto into the cup, invert onto a plate, and then sprinkle with the chopped chives.

Reader Comments (3)

It was Magnus who suggested simmering not me.

October 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterM.

I have fixed the text, thanks. It now reflects Magnus' suggestion.

October 14, 2007 | Registered CommenterPapin

Papin, that sounds (and looks) gorgeous. Thanks to you and stephanie, I will definitley be trying that.

October 17, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterafrican vanielje
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