SAFFRON RISOTTO This is a surprisingly simple vegetarian dish to make and even the most hardened carnivores among you will enjoy the flavours. A Le Creuset-type saucepan is ideal for cooking this dish.


500 grams of Arborio rice

Good quality virgin olive oil

1 litre fresh vegetable stock (alternatively Knorr vegetable bouillon) 100 grams of fresh peas

1 small basket of mixed wild mushrooms (approx 100 to 150 grams) Fresh basil

Pinch or 2 nutmeg

50 grams of sundried tomatoes

6 bay leaves

1 garlic head

4 spring onions

1 small bunch of coriander

1 tablespoon of herbe de Provence or mixed herbs

Good quality saffron

100 grams of grated Gruyere cheese

1/3 cup of double cream

Salt and pepper


Wash the rice in a little water. just enough to get rid of the powder. and drain. Finely chop the garlic. the coriander and spring onions. If you‘re a using the vegetable bouillon. follow the instructions on the packet.

Cooking Instruction

In the heavy saucepan on medium heat. pour two tablespoons of olive oil. add the spring onions and lightly fry for a few seconds. Then add the rice. mixing with a wooden spoon until the grains are coated in the olive oil. Turn to low heat and add the stock. (A good way of checking for the right amount of stock is to dip your index finger in the pan: the liquid covering the rice should not be over the line of your first knuckle.) Add eight to ten saffron filaments. herbe de Provence. bay leaves and nutmeg. Cover the pan and leave for the liquid to be absorbed. This should take 15 to 20 minutes.

In a frying pan heat one tablespoon of olive oil. add the mushrooms. garlic. sundried tomatoes. peas and chopped coriander. and saute until a little moisture appears. Add to the rice and mix together adding a little more olive oil. Then pour on the double cream and sprinkle in the grated Gruyere. Fold until sticky. add fresh basil leaves and mix again that's you.

Serving suggestions

Cut the bottom off an empty tub of margarine or something similar (10 to 15 cm in diameter) with a sharp knife. Place on a plate, fill with the risotto and then de-mould. With a teaspoon. decorate with pesto around the plate. Add a little olive oil on top.

Maison Bleue, 36-38 Victoria Street, Edinburgh, 0131 226 1900.

Food 8. Drink


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