After a long -forced- break from my beloved Books and Crumbs, I’m back on this everyday cooking diary with a new recipe! This time it’s risotto, babe. My true love, my one and only risotto, seasoned with an unexpected mélange of winter and summer flavors.
It’s the beginning of springtime, and the air is filled with the overwhelming perfume of wisteria and mimosa. I wonder how can people possibly say that Venice stinks. It really doesn’t. You should try walking by the gardens of Palazzo Franchetti in these sweet evenings of April. Jasmine, roses, the salty aroma that comes from the lagoon.
This time of year is one of the loveliest for cooking. First of all, there are amazing fresh ingredients to have fun with – asparagus, fresh wild herbs, edible flowers and several firsts of the season. Moreover, I love mixing winter products with the tender flavors of springtime. I think it’s a good way to create a tasty bridge between the two seasons!
My mom gave me this recipe two days ago, and I have to say it has been a great success. I know oranges are winter fruits, but I usually connect their fresh an sour flavor with summer. Taleggio, on the other hand, is a creamy, soft cheese that we use with winter ingredients. Some examples – with Trevisano radicchio, polenta, Porcini mushrooms or sausages.
The combination of fresh orange juice and Taleggio cheese is surprising! Use the orange juice, together with chicken broth, to cook the risotto. Then add the cheese in the final phase of the cooking process, when you stir the risotto – off the fire – to give it its characteristic creamy texture.
Risotto with Orange Juice and Taleggio Cheese (4 servings)
400 gr. rice Arborio or Carnaroli
2 oranges (juice and zest)
1 lt. chicken broth
200 gr. Taleggio cheese
30 gr. Parmesan cheese
40 gr. butter
LET’S DO IT!
Bring the chicken broth to a boil. In the mean time, melt the butter in a large casserole. When it’s completely melted, add the rice and brown it for 4 minutes.
In the meantime, zest the oranges, then squeeze out the juice. Add half of the zest and half of the orange juice to the rice. Begin to add the hot chicken broth and keep stirring the rice – stirring all the time will give to your risotto a nice, creamy texture.
Alternate orange juice and chicken broth while cooking the risotto, which should cook for about 20 minutes. The rice should remain al dente.
When the rice is done, add a small piece of butter, the Parmesan cheese and the Taleggio cheese, off the fire. Keep stirring, then add some salt – if necessary – and a generous quantity of freshly grounded black pepper. Add the orange zest on top, to serve.