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23 March 2011

Strawberry & Lavender Risotto

Immediately after trying the wild strawberry & basil risotto, I had the urge to do this classic strawberry risotto.  I added a twist of lavender flowers seeing that my plants are full of novel flowering buds. Cooking the two main ingredients together created an intoxicatingly wonderful scent of spring in the kitchen.  It made me yearn for the warmth much more than ever.

Its delicacy made it very different from its offshoot wild strawberry & basil risotto.  Both were good, but having two similar dishes, we couldn't help choosing one from the other.  My husband prefers the wild strawberry for its intensity while I favour this abated version.  Perhaps it is the blending with the lavender that attracts me to this risotto.  My 5-year old refused both dishes because I think his taste buds were completely confused about the saltiness of the dish instead of the expected sweetness of the strawberries.   Without any surprise, my 1-year old ate both with her usual enthusiasm in eating.

Strawberry & Lavender Risotto

Serves 4
  • 250 grams Arborio rice
  • 200 grams strawberries, chopped
  • handful of lavender flowers, chopped
  • 1/4 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 liter vegetable broth
  • knob of butter
  • 1 glass white wine
  • salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  1. Over low heat, in a saucepan, keep the vegetable broth warm for use while cooking the risotto.
  2. Sautè the onions in a saucepan with extra virgin olive oil on medium heat. 
  3. When it starts to change color after about a couple of minutes, add the rice.  Keep moving them to avoid burning.  
  4. When the rice is toasted enough, about 3 minutes, add the wine.  Keep on moving the rice while letting the alcohol evaporate.  
  5. On low heat, add about 1/4 of the hot vegetable broth.  Continue ladling the rest of the hot vegetable broth to the risotto until you attain the right consistency. Stir constantly. 
  6. In the middle of cooking the rice, add the strawberries & lavender.  Adjust the taste with salt.  If it is a bit acidic, adjust the taste with sugar. 
  7. When the risotto is cooked, turn of the fire and add a knob of butter.