Tuesday, 27 April 2010

In praise of risotto

I'm coming to the conclusion that risotto is one of the greatest weapons in the dieting foodie's arsenal.

Close your eyes for a moment and picture a bowl of billowing, creamy risotto, all pale and glossy and gorgeous. Feel a frisson of panic at the use of the word creamy. Surely this is a no go area for those watching their waist?

Well, it depends. A traditional risotto is very often finished with copious quantities of butter and Parmesan cheese which do add glorious richness. BUT, and it's a big but, a lot of risotto's creamy texture and mouth feel is created by the rice releasing its starch into the stock. Just rice and stock - no cream required!

Personally, I think it is always worth adding a judicious amount of aforesaid butter or Parmesan and cutting down elsewhere - maybe by having a smaller quantity of rice. The richness they impart, even using a relatively meagre amount, does add to the dish. Although in the recipe I'm going to share in my next post I substitute Parmesan for low fat soft cheese and the result was pretty satisfactory. Actually who am I kidding, it was bloody gorgeous!

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