Even if winter has left us since a few weeks, to be honest with you, I don’t really care. A dish like this has no season, and it can be served as a main even on a chilly-er spring day. Big and bold in flavour, it will definitely please the crowd of cheese lovers.
This risotto has always been one of the aces up my sleeve to please all my friends. I remember back when I was living in Faraville (that’s how we call the building me and – almost – all my closest friends used to live) that quite a few times I’ve heard ‘Teo why don’t you prepare your risotto with apple and taleggio?’ when we were deciding what to have for dinner. So why not sharing this delicacy with my readers?
I understand that taleggio cheese might not the easiest to find. This semi-soft, creamy and pungent cheese from northern Italy (Val Taleggio in Lombardy, to be precise) can be found usually in selected deli counters. I actually just discovered that in the UK is available in Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, although I got mine from the Prezzemolo&Vitale market at Mercato Metropolitano here in London… an amazing piece of home (I’ll talk about it more in detail in another post)!
If you can’t find taleggio, I think the most suitable alternative would be Gruyére. It’s firmer and slightly milder, but it works equally well with apple in this recipe. I know I described how to make risotto several times (remember my Risotto primavera? Or this Green risotto? Other options are also available, just use the Search box at the top of the page!), but it’s always good to freshen up the method, and maybe introduce some Italian terminology :)!
Ingredients (serves 2)
- 1 shallot, thinly diced
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 130g Arborio or Carnaroli rice
- 2 medium sweet apples (Golden, Fuji or Royal Gala work best), peeled and diced
- 100ml dry white wine
- 600ml hot vegetable stock
- 150g taleggio cheese, rind removed and coarsely diced
- knob of butter
- fresh or dried parsley to decorate (optional)
In a medium saucepan, tip in the olive oil and the shallot, and fry for a few minutes over medium heat until the shallot becomes translucent. Add the rice – as usual, the amount is indicative, I usually add two handfuls per person plus one handful for the pan – and cook for a few more minutes to toast it.
Tip in the diced apples, stir and cook for 3-4 minutes to let some of the juices to soak into the rice. Pour in the wine, and stir until it’s almost completely evaporated (in Italian, sfumare con il vino).
Lower the heat to a gentle simmer, and add the hot stock one scoop at a time, stirring often to prevent the rice from sticking. It should take between 16 and 18 minutes to cook. I would advise you to taste after 14 to make sure that the grains are cooked through but not mushy.
Now it’s time for the mantecatura. Tip in the taleggio chunks (or the grated Gruyére, if you’re using that instead) and the knob of butter, stir vigorously to blend, cover the pan with a lid and let rest for a few minutes. Just before serving, stir again to make sure that the cheese and the butter are evenly mixed with the rice. Scatter with some parsley and drizzle with a few drops of olive oil for colour and serve.
Are there any unusual sweet-savoury recipes that you like? Let me know by commenting to this post!
I hope you enjoyed this recipe!
See you soon!