Please don’t let the sprouts put you off!! Yes, I know most people save this veg for Christmas time but this is a really nice recipe in its own right and also good to use up any leftover sprouts you might have. I know it’s fairly popular as I saw a few pics in my Instagram timeline of people making their own versions. It is (very slightly) adapted from Ottolenghi’s latest book Plenty More.
This book is every bit as good as the hype would have you believe. I was in a bookshop dithering between this and his earlier book Plenty, when one of the staff recommended this. (I already have Jerusalem). I’m glad they did, it is fab. Ottolenghi has a bit of a bad reputation for using ingredients that most of us can’t pronounce never mind locate, but that is not true. Yes there are mentions of more exotic herbs and spices but there are many recipes like this that use everyday ingredients and just make them a little bit more special. I am also intrigued by his recipe for Roasted brussel sprouts with pomelo/grapefruit and star anise
- 15g unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 lemon, ½ of the zest finely grated and the other ½ shaved into long strips
- 150g Arborio or Carnaroli risotto rice
- 250g trimmed brussels sprouts, 100g shredded and 150g quartered
- 100ml white wine
- 450ml vegetable stock
- Salt and black pepper
- 400ml sunflower oil
- 20g parmesan, roughly grated
- 60g soft creamy blue cheese, such as dolcelatte or cambozola, broken up
- 5g fresh tarragon, chopped
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Melt the butter and olive oil in a large heavy pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and fry for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is soft and lightly caramelised.
- Add the garlic, thyme and lemon strips, and cook for two minutes more.
- Add the rice and shredded sprouts and give them a good mix so that the rice is fully coated. Cook for a minute, stirring frequently.
- Season well with salt and pepper.
- Pour over the wine and let it reduce for a minute or two before you start adding the stock.
- Reduce the heat to medium and carry on adding the stock ladle by ladle, until the rice is cooked but still retains a bite, and all the stock is used up. Stir regularly while cooking.
- While the rice is cooking, pour the sunflower oil into a high-sided second saucepan; it should come 2cm up the sides. Place on a high heat and once hot, use a slotted spoon to add a handful of the quartered sprouts.
- Be very careful as they will splutter – that is why you need a high saucepan. Fry for less than a minute, until golden and crisp, then transfer to plate lined with kitchen paper. Keep warm in a low oven while you finish the risotto.
- Remove the bare stalks of thyme from the rice and I also remove the lemon zest strips but this is optional.
- Add the parmesan, blue cheese, tarragon and half the fried sprouts to the risotto and stir gently.
- Taste to see if it needs more seasoning.
- Serve immediately, spooning on the remaining sprouts and topping with the grated lemon zest and a small squeeze of juice. I like to garnish with some parsley also.