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Recipe: David Higgs’ Emerald Risotto with goat’s cheese, truffle zest & mushrooms

A good risotto is hard to beat – add flavours of goat’s cheese and truffle and you have yourself a winner dinner

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By House & Garden South Africa | October 24, 2021 | Recipes


250g Button Mushrooms wiped clean & quartered

5g Fresh Thyme rinsed, picked & finely chopped

30ml Vegetable Stock

160g Spinach rinsed

1 Onion peeled & finely diced

2 Garlic Cloves peeled & grated

200ml Arborio Rice

100ml De-alcoholised White Wine

5ml Truffle Zest

50g Whole Italian-style Hard

Cheese grated

50g Goat's Cheese

1 Lemon zested & cut into wedges


1. GOLDEN MUSHIES Boil the kettle. Place a pot (big enough for the risotto) over a medium-high heat with oil. When hot, fry the quartered mushrooms and chopped thyme for 4-5 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the pot on completion and season.

2. GREEN MOMENT Dilute the stock with 700ml of boiling water and set aside. Bring a pot of water to a boil. When boiling, blanch ⅔ of the spinach for 1-2 minutes until wilted - be careful not to overcook. Drain on completion and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. When cooled, squeeze out as much water as you can. Add the wilted spinach and 60ml of diluted stock to a blender, and pulse until smooth.

3. RISOTTO Return the pot to a medium-high heat with a drizzle of oil. When hot, fry the diced onion for 2-3 minutes until soft and translucent. In the final minute, add the grated garlic and cook for a minute until fragrant, shifting constantly. Stir through the rice for a minute. Pour in the wine and simmer until evaporated. Add a ladleful of stock and allow it to be absorbed by gently simmering, stirring regularly. Only add the next ladle of stock when the previous one has been fully absorbed. Repeat this process for 20-25 minutes until the rice is cooked al dente.

4. CREAMY SENSATION In the final 2-3 minutes of the risotto, stir through the fried mushrooms, ½ of the truffle zest, grated ¾ of the grated Italian-style cheese and 40g of butter. Season to taste and remove from the heat. Just before serving, stir through the blended spinach. In a bowl, toss the remaining spinach through some lemon juice, a drizzle of oil and season to taste.

5. WARM UP YOUR BELLY Dish up a helping of risotto and crumble over the goat's cheese. Garnish with the remaining hard cheese and truffle zest (to taste). Top with the dressed spinach. There you have it!

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