Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Scallop Risotto with Rosemary Petals & Fennel Flowers

When I go home to see my parents I always look forward to cooking with our Aga and using goodies from our garden. Mum’s herb garden is brimming with interesting varieties of thyme, numerous types of basil, umpteen varieties of rosemary and different gradations of sage. And Dad’s orchard is normally heaving with a range of apples, pears, medlars, quinces, plums, greengages and crab-apples, with mulberries, apricots and nectarines planned for the future. And that’s before you get into the issue of which mushrooms are edible, let alone which flowers you might want to scatter into a salad or use as a garnish.

I wondered long and hard about telling you about our amazing scallop risotto because I’ve banged on about them a lot in the past. But this one is worth it because it featured the subtle floral flourish of rosemary flowers and fennel blossom.

Simply fry 3 small onions in butter and olive oil. After 5 minutes add 500 grams of risotto rice. Listen to it crackle and then tip in a third of a bottle of white wine. Once this has almost dried up add your first ladle of chicken stock whilst stirring slowly. Keep doing this until the rice is tender (after around 30 minutes). Then add a mug of frozen peas and 300 grams of queen scallops. Cook for 4 minutes and then add some spinach which will wilt in the heat of the rice. Stir in some butter, season and allow to rest for a few minutes.

Scallop and pea risotto with flowers

Serve with a garnish of purple rosemary flowers and honey coloured fennel flowers which taste of aniseed. The floral notes added a very subtle layer of flavours and interest that transformed this from just being a scallop risotto into a memory that will linger forever.


Lizzie said...

that looks stunning. I've never cooked with edible flowers, I wonder where I could buy some?

catty said...

That is waaaay too pretty to eat! Oh what am i saying, I would totally scoff that. YUM!

Laissez Fare said...

Oh my god, that looks unbelievable!

Kerri said...

That looks beautiful, really creative. I love hearing about your parent's garden, it sounds like such a lovely place.

Wen said...

Very pretty, bet it tastes fab. Nice twist with the herbs!

Helen said...

This is absolutely beautiful! Your parents' garden sounds amazing. I loved your earlier post about it too. What a magnificent project and it also produces some stonking food. Perfect. The risotto is a thing of beauty.

Dan said...

Browners, That looks incredible. I'd be more than happy to be served a dish looking like that in a top class restaurant. Beautiful photo as well.

Browners said...

@Lizzie - Ah. Edible Flowers. You should visit my parents. When I was finishing at School Mum wrote a book about Edible Flowers. So every meal we had for 5 months featured different flowers. Even now we are treated to rose petal cakes, lavendar flowers in shortbread and nastutriums in salads. In terms of getting hold of edible flowers the best bet is to grow some...

@catty - It's very edible. Although I did pretty much strip Mum's fennel of all its lovely flowers.

@Laissez Fare - Thanks. Very tasty.

@Kerri - Thank you. It's a great place to get away from it all and enjoy a whole new landscape.

@Wen - Thanks.

@Helen - Sometimes we all need some beautiful food in our lives.

@Dan - What a lovely thing to say. You're a gent.

Emma said...

This is gorgeous and I love your blog! Found you via you following me on Twitter! Emma

Gourmet Chick said...

I love the flowers on this it looks fantastic (my version of a scallop risotto is much plainer with only asparagus to keep the scallops company not gorgeous flowers!)

Browners said...

@Gourmet Chick - Thanks! Flowers are very versatile. They liven up many a meal. Roussillon do a fantastic edible flower tasting menu around the time of the Chelsea Flower Show.

Jason said...

Wow, it looks awesome..really creative! :)

Food Urchin said...

OK I have to agree that your risotto looks amazing and very pretty indeed.

But I can't help but wonder that this rather cutesy flourish to the dish is down to that fact that you have shaved your mo off.

What next, baking and skipping around the kitchen in a pinny?

Grow it back man for God sakes!

; )

Browners said...

@Jason - Thanks. Very kind of you to say so.

@Food Urchin - I'm now back to "designer stubble" facial hair and my masculinity is beginning to creep back in. Although I am wearing a pink shirt!


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