Risotto with spinach and turmeric

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Almost all the risottos I make follow mostly the same formula: a good, properly cooked Italian arborio rice as a basis and some carefully chosen ingredients to complete it – only tomato risotto is a bit different. I prefer arborio rice because of its velvety and creamy consistence, though making it demands all your attention for up to 30 minutes. But the result is worth all the effort!

Using arborio rice produces a creamy and tasty dish, but it requires you using both your hands. One for stirring and one for pouring vegetable stock in very small amounts. Most recipes recommend adding it ladle by ladle, but I’m not patient enough to do that: I add the stock half a deciliter at a time and it still gives the same good result.

The chosen ingredients for this risotto are spinach and turmeric. The beautiful yellow color is all due to turmeric. It is good to remember turmeric’s incredible power of discoloration – not only in food but everywhere. Peeling it gives your fingers a nice yellow color for days and you had better to be careful with your clothes: the stains will stay forever. Also all the white worktops are in danger if you don’t remove the stains immediately.

The cooking time can vary vary depending on the chosen arborio rice. Tasting is the best way to test the mellowness of rice.

PORTION: 4 persons
TIME TO MAKE: 40 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 dl arborio rice
  • 1 l vegetable stock
  • 100 gr spinach
  • small yellow onion
  • a small piece of turmeric
  • 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • salt, pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of crushed Parmesan cheese

Cut the turmeric in very small pieces. Cut the spinach as well, but not in that small pieces.

Heat about 1 litre of vegetable stock to simmer and keep it warm.

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed slow cooker or a pot and add finely chopped onion. Simmer for a few minutes and add rice. Sauté for few minutes more.

Add the cut turmeric. The longer you simmer it, the better yellow color your risotto will have.

Add some vegetable stock, enough to cover the rice. Stir until the liquid is almost absorbed. When the rice appears almost dry, add small amount of stock (about half a decilitre at a time). When the risotto is almost ready, stir in the spinach, lemon juice and parmesan. Total time for simmering is about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper if needed. Keep the risotto warm under a lid for about 5-10 minutes before serving.

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