New recipes each month, using the best of the season's produce, including quick and easy suppers and tasty desserts.
July 2009 - RISOTTO OF TOMATO ESSENCE, FINISHED WITH GARDEN VEGETABLES
Making the tomato essence:
In a food processor, blitz all the ingredients together 3 times for 2 seconds each, using the pulse button (*3). Allow to marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to 3 hours. Hang in a double folded muslin cloth to collect the liquid, reserve.
Cooking the risotto:
Bring the water to the boil. Soften the onion and garlic in the olive oil on a low heat until soft (approximately 2 minutes) Stir in the rice and continue to cook on medium heat for 2 minutes until the grains of rice appear translucent. Season with salt and pepper. Add the hot water; stir until it has all been absorbed simmering (bubbles breaking the surface). Follow this with the essence and continue cooking the rice as before. The rice will take 20 – 25 minutes to cook to perfection (*4).
After 20 minutes add all the vegetables, cook for a further 5 minutes stirring continually; add the parmesan, mascarpone, tomatoes and herbs.
Taste, adjust the seasoning if necessary and serve.
Chef’s notes (*):
- To make a great tomato essence, you need to source the very best tomatoes. We use cherry tomatoes because they are sweeter. An un-ripe tomato or poor variety will give you a poor quality of essence.
- We have chosen Carnaroli rice as we believe it is the best. It not only gives a good flavour but also the best flavour and texture. It is cultivated mainly in the Piemonte region of Italy.
- Over blitzing the tomatoes to a purée will break down the tomato skin and give a completely different, coarser flavour. The colour will also be red, whilst we are looking for a pale gold colour, which is the heart of the tomato.
- Risotto is a simple dish but a complicated process. The stirring of the risotto will bring out the natural starch, give it a creamy consistency and also distribute the heat to give an even cooking of the rice.
- Over-cooking the risotto only takes 1–2 minutes, so taste at all stages of cooking and remember practice makes perfect.
The training given at Le Manoir teaches us to utilise everything, so the pulp can be used to make a soup or sauce for pasta or chicken etc.
The remaining tomato pulp could also be used to add into the risotto in place of the extra vegetables. The different risottos are endless; shellfish, asparagus, mushroom, pumpkin are just a few….
Ingredients for the essence:
1250g Tomatoes- cherry, ripe and washed
30g Celery, washed and finely chopped
10g Shallots, peeled and finely chopped
50g Fennel, finely chopped
½ clove Garlic, peeled and sliced
½ sprig Thyme leaves, chopped
Basil, leaves chopped
10g Sea salt
10g Sugar (optional) (*1)
1 pinch Cayenne pepper
Ingredients for the risotto:
½ an onion finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
30ml olive oil
200g Carnaroli rice (*2)
7pinches sea salt
2 pinches white pepper
300ml hot water
300ml tomato essence (recipe above)
Ingredients to finish risotto:
1 tsp Butter, unsalted
40g peas, shelled
40g broad beans, baby
40g baby carrots, washed and sliced
30g Mascarpone cream
20g Parmesan, finely grated
40g Tomatoes, cherry vine cut in half
3 sprigs Chervil leaves, chopped
2 sprigs Basil leaves, chopped
1 sprig Parsley leaves, chopped