Violet risotto - Venetian homecooking recipe

Last Sunday I eventually decided to go for the Artichoke feast on Sant'Erasmo isle... I go each year, in fact I love Sant'Erasmo, and it's a good chance to buy good local products such as saltmarsh honey, locally grown vegetables and of course the famous, violet artichoke. The farmer revealed me a secret: "cook the outer leaves and stems, you'll have the best risotto ever!" Thrilled to have received this cooking secret, I immediately tried it and prepared a stock using the outer leaves and stems (together with carrots and onions) as ordered. Well, it was the most bitter stock I've ever tasted in all of my life. I thought about using it as a threat to my kids ("behave yourself or you'll have a spoon of artichoke stock"), but eventually have been won by a rush of good heart and gave it to my flowers. What a disappointment... the day after, I had a revelation and thought about giving it another try. I had a few artichokes left, washed them well, and tried a different way. The result: DELICIOUS! So I'll spare you the method for the hemlock-like artichoke stock and share how to prepare this violet risotto. Enjoy!

For 4 persons :

  • 4 violet artichokes (from Sant'Erasmo)
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1/2 glass raboso wine
  • 5 espresso cups of rice
  • vegetable stock
  • olive oil
  • aged Montasio cheese (or Parmesan)

Wash carefully and leaf through the artichokes (for this risotto, you'll only need the outer, harder leaves and stems). Peel the stems and chop it. Chop the onion and stir-fry it together with the leaves and stems cubes. Add the rice, then pour raboso wine (it will give it a nice purple colour and a delicious aroma), let it evaporate then add boiling stock, ladle by ladle, until rice is cooked. Season with a generous handful of grated, aged Montasio cheese. You can serve the risotto with the leaves, even if you're not going to eat them. Buon appetito!

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