Yesterday, Manon and Bart both used the comment section to make me jealous. To be fair, I am not sure this was their express intent, but hoo boy, did it ever. Manon wrote about soup and scones in Edinburgh, complete with clotted cream (which is nigh-impossible to buy in the NL). Bart told us about specially imported cheese from Switzerland, and the luscious risotto he made with it. Too bad, eh, for those of us who have to make do with Dutch supermarkets?
Or maybe not, because a rice-cheese-butter dish might be crazy delicious, but also a tad on the calorific side. For a simple weekday dinner, let’s keep things a bit lighter. A little less dairy, a little more green- I propose turnip top (raapsteeltjes) risotto. Janneke Vreugdenhil wrote about it on the NRC Next cooking blog two weeks ago, and it is an excellent way of turning spring’s first green leaves into a fast, tasty dinner.
To get there, make a basic risotto the way you usually do. I tend to take the lazy route, but Bart is more diligent and stirs the stock in ladle by ladle. Color me impressed. Either way, gently cook some finely sliced shallots in the oil before you stir the rice in. Then add stock in your preferred way, until the rice is toothsome and still a little more liquid than you’d like. Turn off the heat and add a knob of butter (no point in risotto completely sans butter, methinks) and a few handfuls of grated parmesan (again: no cheese, no risotto). Then cover the pan and leave to stand for a few minutes until stirring to spread the melted butter and cheese. In the mean time, wash your turnip tops thoroughly, dry them (I love my salad spinner for this) and cut them into pieces. The stems need to be diced quite finely, the leaves can be roughly chopped. Finally, add the turnip tops to the risotto, mix and serve. Tasty, tasty.
Almost as tasty as Swiss cheese risotto…