About Great Food

Gary Rhodes

Potato, Scallion, And Mozzarella Risotto

The book just wouldn't be right without a risotto somewhere! Risottos in general have become so popular, with almost unlimited flavors and variations to choose from. This one is slightly different, having mashed potato added to create a more than creamy texture.

Serves 8 as an appetizer or 4 as a main course

1 cup arborio rice
2 bunches of scallions (green onions)
4 tablespoons butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 large potatoes, cut in inch dice
1 1/3 cups Mashed Potatoes
2-3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
cup per portion coarsely grated mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper
Virgin olive oil, to serve

Shred the scallions finely, separating the white from the green. Blanch the green scallion in boiling water until tender, then strain.

Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the chopped onion with the shredded whites of scallion. Cook without letting them brown for a few minutes until softened. Add the rice and continue to cook for a few minutes. While the onions and rice are cooking, heat the stock. Add the stock, a ladle at a time, stirring the rice continuously. Once the rice has absorbed the stock, add another ladleful and continue to cook and stir; repeat until the rice is tender. This process will take 20-30 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, boil the diced potatoes until tender.

To finish the risotto, add the mashed potatoes and Parmesan, if using, to lift all the flavors, with the diced potatoes and greens of scallions. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste; add a little more stock, if necessary, to give a looser, creamier consistency.

Add the mozzarella and let it melt into the risotto or - as I like to do - serve the risotto in bowls and sprinkle the mozzarella on top. Put the bowls under the broiler to melt the cheese for a few seconds. Now just drizzle with olive oil and serve.

Note: You could add half the mozzarella to the risotto and use the remainder to sprinkle over the top.

You can also add an extra 2 - 4 tablespoons butter to enrich the dish.


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