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Sweet risotto with strawberries, pistachios and limoncello

I’ve always been somewhat creative in the kitchen.  Sometimes this creativity has served me well and others not so much.  Yes, I have had my fair share of disasters in the kitchen but I’m not going to share them right now :).

When I decided to develop this recipe I threw caution to the wind and jumped right in.  The end result I wanted to achieve was that of sweet risotto and NOT rice pudding.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with rice pudding perse, it’s just that there are so many recipes available (both Thermomix and non-Thermomix) that I didn’t want to create yet another.  And hence, Sweet risotto with strawberries, pistachios and limoncello was born.

The strawberries were included because they were in season and gorgeously sweet, the pistachios because I love their green hue and the limoncello was a suggestion from my wonderful Group Leader, Liz.  When I mentioned to her that I wanted to try this recipe she gave me a sample from her bottle of limoncello so that I could test it.  It was so good I’ve now purchased my own (very large) bottle.

The first time I made this, G liked it but felt that it needed a sauce of some kind.  I wasn’t so sure because I tried it as soon as it was assembled whereas he let it cool first.  However, I had some strawberries left over so whipped up a strawberry and limoncello syrup.   When others tried it they agreed with G.

So I acknowledge two things.  I love a collaboration of ideas/suggestions when it comes to creative cooking and G has a wonderful palate that teaches me more than he knows :).

sweet risotto with strawberries, pistachios and limoncello (recipe by Fiona at Food 4 Thought)
makes approximately 4-6 desserts

50g shelled pistachio nuts
Zest of ½ large lemon (approx 10g)
50g raw sugar
½ vanilla bean, scraped
40g butter
200g Arborio rice
60g white wine
1 ½ tablespoons limoncello
550g full cream milk
to serve
thinly sliced strawberries
crushed pistachios
strawberry syrup/sauce

Pour nuts into bowl and chop for 2 seconds on speed 5.  Remove from bowl and set aside.  Place lemon zest, sugar and vanilla into TM bowl and pulverise for 20 seconds at speed 9.  Scrape down sides of bowl and repeat if necessary, until zest is finely ground.

Add butter and cook for 2 minutes at 100°C on speed 1.  Insert butterfly, add rice and cook for 1 minute at 100°C, reverse, on soft speed.

Add wine and limoncello.  Cook for 1 minute at 100°C, reverse on soft speed.  Add milk and cook for 16 minutes at 100°C, reverse on soft speed.  For the last 5 minutes tilt MC to allow the mixture to thicken slightly.

Once cooked, pour into Thermoserver and stand while slicing strawberries.

To serve, place 2 tablespoons of risotto in base of glass or bowl.  Place single layer of strawberries on top of rice then sprinkle with chopped pistachios.
Top with another layer of risotto.  Decorate with strawberries and pistachios.  Serve with syrup.

My tips/alterations: *You can make this dish without a Thermomix but following the recipe and cooking it in a pot on the stove.  Just watch that it doesn’t burn and you may need to cook it a little longer.  *If this starts to bubble out of the hole in the lid of the Thermomix you can tilt the MC and insert on its side.  *If you allow it to stand in the Thermoserver for too long it will thicken quite a bit.  If you would like a softer consistency just add some milk or even thin cream.  *If you want to peel your pistachios (see difference in picture at the end of this post), simply place pistachios in bowl, cover with boiling water, allow to stand for 5 minutes then squeeze them out of their skins.

ease: 9/10.  The Thermomix makes risotto a very simple thing to make!
prep time: 10mins + assembling.
cooking time: 20mins
total: 30 mins + assembling.

taste: 8.5/10.  Both G & I loved this, and it was something that we have never tried before.  The flavours and textures worked really well and the strawberry syrup (recipe to follow) bought it all.

would I make it again: Yes!  Especially if I wanted to show friends something a little different.

L: Unpeeled; R: Skins removed