1 pint vegetable stock, 1/2 white onion, butter, 1 orange, pinch saffron, salt, paprika, chilli powder, Pimms, 1 cup spelt
Serves: 2 preparation: 25 minutes
All risottos (no matter what the ingredients) can be made in 3 simple stages. The first is called tostatura - coating the rice in fat, the second involves cooking off some alcohol and the third involves releasing the starch from the rice one ladle of stock at a time. It's this process of releasing starch into a sauce which makes a risotto a risotto and I was delighted to learn that spelt (a kind of wheat) can also be used. It has a fabulous texture and flavour and really brings out the sweet hay-like scent of saffron. I read recently that monks used saffron as a treatment for melancholy and this struck me as good inspiration for the exotic Eastern combination of orange and chilli.
1) Soak the spelt in cold water for 5 minutes
2) Finely dice the onion and sautee in a little butter until soft. Drain the water from the spelt and stir into the onions.
3) Add a glug of Pimms and the juice and zest of one orange. Once the alcohol cooks off, add the first ladle of stock along with a pinch of saffron and stir through.
4) Continue adding the stock to the risotto, one ladle at a time until the spelt has fluffed up and softened. Add paprika and chilli powder to taste and serve.