by chef Feni Malebye-Lutalo of Basalt restaurant
4 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 white onions, roughly chopped
2 leeks, white and green stems, rinsed and chopped
2 celery stalks, rinsed and roughly chopped
1 fennel bulb
500g dried chickpeas
3L filtered water
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 springs of picked thyme
500g cauliflower, roughly chopped and
250g Arborio (risotto) rice
vegetable stock (above)
15ml white wine
salt and pepper to taste
150g grated Parmesan cheese
100g Parmesan cheese, finely grated
¼ head of cauliflower, broken into small florets, tossed in olive oil & oven grilled until brown
¼ head of broccoli, use potato peeler to shave off the broccoli shavings
10 kale leaves, torn from stem by hand – tossed in olive oil and oven grilled until crunchy
- Make vegetable stock by adding all ingredients to a large pot and adding filtered water, bring to boil and simmer for 2 hours. Set aside to cool.
- Strain and keep stock. Discard cooked vegetables.
- Sauté garlic in butter until soft.
- Add cauliflower and thyme and cook until soft.
- Blend with cream until smooth paste.
- Using a large cast iron pot for the risotto, sauté the Arborio rice in olive oil over medium heat, add white wine when rice is warm but not toasted.
- Add the stock one ladle at a time, constantly stirring until rice absorbs the liquid. Keep adding stock this way until the rice is tender (and reaches preferred al-dente consistency), usually 20 – 25 minutes. Stir constantly while adding stock so that the risotto does not catch or burn.
- Taste and season to taste.
- Add the cauliflower purée once stock has been added, stir into the mixture evenly.
- Add ¾ grated Parmesan and stir into risotto to absorb.
Grate Parmesan finely, spread out on greaseproof paper and bake in the oven until golden brown.
- Serve risotto in bowls.
- Use the garnishes and Parmesan crisp on top of the risotto before serving.