No one has done more to promote Australia’s great produce and delicious food than Bill Granger.
The much-loved chef has 19 restaurants around the globe and is firing like Crepe Suzette. In the 20 years since Bill published his first book of recipes, Sydney Food, the world has fallen in love with this joyfully casual Australian way of eating. Now Bill’s back with Australian Food (Murdoch Books), a gold mine of Australian culinary delights that would make an ideal Xmas prezzie.
Here’s Bill’s recipe for Green Herb Risotto with Raw Summer Salad
I’ve always loved the idea of nasturtium leaves in a salad. They grow everywhere, and so easily. In the early days of bills our chef used to pick them on the way to work, and now I always grow them in the garden.
The risotto uses a simple but clever method – the green herb mixture is blended and then stirred into the cooked risotto – that way the colours and flavours stay completely fresh and the greens aren’t cooked at all. It’s almost like saying risotto is good for you. In fact, because the butter and cheese help you absorb the vitamins from the greens, this is practically spa food!
Raw summer salad
5 asparagus spears, sliced into ribbons
1 zucchini (courgette), sliced into ribbons
6 Brussels sprouts or 2 kale leaves, finely shredded
12 nasturtium leaves
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 French shallots, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1½ tablespoons thyme
400g risotto rice
200ml white wine
1.2 litres warm vegetable stock
Zest and juice of ½ lemon
3 tablespoons grated parmesan
Green herb purée
50g baby spinach
50ml olive oil
To make the raw summer salad, toss together the asparagus, zucchini, sprouts or kale and nasturtium leaves. Whisk together the lemon juice and oil with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to make a citrus dressing. Toss the salad with the dressing and set aside until ready to serve.
To make the risotto, heat half the butter in a pan over low–medium heat. Gently cook the shallots, garlic and thyme in the butter until the shallots are soft and translucent. Add the rice and cook, stirring well, for a minute or so, until all the rice is coated in hot butter. Add the white wine and stir until it has all been absorbed.
Slowly stir in the warm stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring continuously until it has been absorbed before adding the next ladle – this will take around 20–25 minutes.
To make the green herb purée, mix all the ingredients in a blender until thick and smooth. Season to taste.
Stir the green herb purée into the risotto. Finish with the remaining butter, a squeeze of lemon juice and the parmesan. Serve with the salad, sprinkled with lemon zest.
Images and text from Australian Food by Bill Granger, photography by Mikkel Vang. Murdoch Books RRP $49.99