So, I got the Salt Yard recipe book for Christmas. This is good news for me (lots of tasty new recipes to try, lots of lovely pictures to drool over) and good news for YOU lovely readers as it means that when I’m done trying the recipes and tinkering with them I can share them with you. I’m nice like that you see.
Incidentally, if you’ve never been to one of the Salt Yard restaurants (Salt Yard on Goodge St, Opera Tavern in Covent Garden, Dehesa or Ember Yard in Soho) YOU MUST GO, GO NOW. When your credit card recovers, you’ll thank me on bended knee for making you eat there. This is the kind of tapas that ruins you for any other tapas.
The recipes in the book are pretty complicated as a general rule, so I’ve broken myself in with one of the easier ones, and tinkered with it only slightly to make it more user-friendly. I thought I’d have a nightmare getting truffle oil but, contrary to all of my expectations, it was available in the Camden Sainsbury’s and was only £2.50. It’s now pretty much my favourite thing ever. Brace yourself for A LOT of truffley recipes to come!
What you need – serves 2, generously
A large knob of butter
A medium onion or 2 shallots, finely chopped
½ a cauliflower head, broken into small florets
A small glass of white wine
200g risotto rice
0.75l veg stock (or thereabouts)
150g cheddar cheese, grated
2 tablespoons truffle oil
An egg yolk per person
What to do:
- Melt your butter over a medium heat in a large saucepan, start cooking the chopped cauliflower until it’s browned and starting to become tender
- Take the cauliflower out of the pan and set to one side, put in a bit more butter if you need to and add the onion to the pan
- Cook the onion for about 5m, then add your risotto rice and stir for another couple of minutes to coat the rice in the butter
- Add the wine, cook that for a few minutes until absorbed
- Begin ladling in your stock, add a ladleful or two at a time and stir until it’s absorbed,
- After ladling and stirring your stock for about 15m, add the cauliflower back into the risotto so it cooks in the stock that you’ll continue to add
- Continue ladling and stirring until your stock has all been absorbed by the rice. This will take about half an hour, but keep taking a nibble of rice to check if it’s cooked or not – I like mine slightly softer than ‘al dente’ as I think it makes the risotto creamier. If you run out of stock before the rice is cooked, add some more, if you think it’s done before the stock is finished, stop adding the stock. You need to play this by ear a bit.
- Add your cheese and stir, stir, stir until it’s all melted and the risotto is looking gooey and delicious
- Add in two tablespoons of truffle oil and some black pepper – you probably won’t need salt as the stock is salty – and taste your creation. Adjust seasoning/truffle oil as your little heart desires.
- When you spoon this into a bowl, leave a little well in the middle. Crack an egg and separate the yolk from the white (do this over the sink or a different bowl, obvs), either using a fancy egg separator or by catching the yolk in your hands and allowing the white to run between your fingers. Feels disgusting, but saves on washing up and that.
- Put the yolk of the egg in your little well. Before eating, pop the yolk and stir into your risotto. This is a bloody GENIUS idea as it adds to the richness of the risotto without using pounds of butter (healthy January, I repeat; healthy January…) and I think it’d work really well in lots of risottos. Experiment and tell me what you discover!
Look. At. That.