Thursday, May 04, 2006

Don't Eat the Children

Vegetarian day. With mint left to use up. That was the goal.

Every week, a few vegetarian days. Only things with no parents. Good for the planet, good for the arteries (except for the butter!), and good for building up goodwill for when I occasionally make a nasty greasy meat bomb of a meal that everyone loves but complains about none the less.

Lately we’ve had some edamame, which has gone over much better than I would have thought.

And earlier in the week, we had a mint chutney that was a real winner.

So I thought combining these elements – the edamame for the nutty taste and protein, the mint for a flavor punch – with a flexible canvas like risotto might work.

I roasted the edamame in olive oil with garlic mainly because I wanted the garlic flavor and didn’t want it raw. The edamame are quite moist, so I was not quite sure the pan roasting would have much effect, but they did brown slightly, and the roasted nutty taste combined well with the garlic.

Mint and cilantro is just a good combination. Somehow they complement each other. And since peas and mint are often combined with good results, it seemed like the edamame and mint would work just as well.

The combination evoked a kind of Japan meets Italy feel, as the edamame are somehow coupled conceptually very tightly to Japanese cuisine. The mint – cilantro taste was unexpected for a risotto, very fresh tasting.

We could have easily gone Vegan by using vegetable stock, and leaving out the cheese at the end. That would have highlighted the mint flavor even more.

And it’s all gone. Always a good sign. I liked it a lot. Something a little different.

Risotto with Garlic Roasted Edamame and Mint
Recipe by surfindaave
Serves 4-6

1 onion, chopped fine
olive oil
600 grams (about 2 cups) Arborio rice, or other short grain rice
2-3 tbsp rice vinegar, or ¼ cup dry white wine
8 cups stock (chicken, or vegetable if you want Vegan)
2 pounds fresh peeled edamame (soy bean nuts, peeled and shelled)
4-5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tbsp peppermint, chopped fine
½ cup cilantro or Italian parsley, chopped fine
1 tsp cayenne pepper (I added ½ cup minced aragula blossoms just because I had them)
1 cup pecorino-Romano cheese, grated (omit for Vegan)

Heat stock to a simmer in a pot.

Heat some olive oil in a small skillet. When hot, add the edamame and garlic, stirring. Saute, stirring occasionally until the edamame are lightly browned. Reserve.

Heat olive oil in a large, heavy pot, and sauté onions over moderate heat until soft.

Increase heat, and add rice. Cook, stirring, until rice becomes translucent, avoid burning. Reduce heat to medium.

Add rice vinegar, stirring. Add several ladles of stock, stirring. Continue to add stock, one ladle full at a time, stirring, as the broth is absorbed by the rice.

When about 2 cups of stock are left, add the edamame garlic mixture, and the herbs, stirring will.

Continue to add broth until the risotto is al dente and has a creamy texture. Stir in cheese. Add more broth if necessary to achieve desired consistency. Serve. Enjoy!

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Blogger Johnny Doe said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:17 AM  
Blogger ilva said...

Oh so you don't eat children...
Your pics are improving!
Pity that I don't like chilantro but maybe with mint....

2:36 AM  
Blogger surfindaave said...

There have been times ... but all my children are more or less alive - for now! Thanks on the pictures. It's been a rough week, but I am trying to slowly incorporate the suggestions as best I can.

If you don't care for cilantro, you can always just use parsley in it's place - almost as good!

12:04 AM  

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