A Summer Supper

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When summer comes, a lot of people lighten up on the cooking, turning instead to salads and barbeques and easy light fare. For whatever reason, I’ve been a cooking monster the last few weeks. Here’s a recipe I tried out and loved from ‘Recipes From an Italian Summer’ – just in time for local strawberry season. It was so special, I wanted to share it with you. I’m a big fan of the savoury/sweet combo, and this guy was so pretty and veg friendly and fun – totally worth the attention that risotto demands.

Strawberry Risotto
Serves 4

Ingredients
4 cups vegetable stock
6 tablespoons butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups risotto rice
1 3/4 cups dry white wine
2 3/4 cups hulled strawberries
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground white pepper

Procedures
1 Pour the stock into a pan and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer.
2 Meanwhile, melt half the butter in another pan. Add the onion and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until it is softened. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until all the grains are coated with melted butter.
3 Add the wine and cook for 5 minutes, or until the alcohol has evaporated. Add a ladleful of the hot stock to the rice and cook, stirring, until it has been absorbed. Continue adding the stock, a ladleful at a time, and stirring until each addition has been absorbed. This will take 18-20 minutes.
4 Meanwhile, set a few whole strawberries aside for the garnish and mash the remainder in a bowl. Ten minutes before the end of the cooking time, add the mashed strawberries to the risotto. When it is almost ready, gently stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with the reserved whole strawberries.

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