Wild Hop Risotto

Included in the free vegetable box Natoora kindly sent me, was an unlisted bonus vegetable, a weedy looking green bunch that the google-tron informed me were wild hops (or Bruscandoli, if you’re feeling continental). Until then, I’d only been aware of hops being used in beer, but it sounded like a risotto was the most suitable use for it (and you can’t beat a risotto), so make a risotto I did.

I stirred the chopped hops into a simple risotto bianco at the end of cooking, which made for a light, summery dish, the hops adding a grassy flavour and slightly, but pleasantly bitter flavour. Perfect for an outdoor lunch on a day off work. The asparagus pictured was a superfluous (but tasty) addition because I had some kicking about and fancied it, but it is by no means integral to this particular dish.

Recipe after the jump…

Ingredients (serves 2)

150g of risotto rice

500mls of hot stock (chicken or vegetable)

A splash of white wine

50 grams of Parmesan, or other such hard cheese, grated

1 small white onion, finely chopped

1 small bunch of wild hops, finely chopped like you would chives

olive oil

salt/pepper

Directions

Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a deep frying pan and add the onion. Fry gently for 10-15mins until soft and translucent but not browned. Add the rice and stir for a few mins to coat in oil and start to toast.

Splash in the white wine and allow to reduce almost completely. Add a ladle of stock and allow to absorb. Repeat until rice is tender. This will take 15-20mins. Try not to stir rice too much or it will become porridgey, but stir enough, and keep heat low enough that it doesn’t stick and burn either.

With the last couple of ladles of stock, add the finely chopped hops and stir in. When rice is cooked, remove from the heat and stir through the cheese. Season and serve.

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3 Responses to “Wild Hop Risotto”

  1. Leluu Says:

    Yesssss! Love risotto! Good tip about not stirring it too much – sometimes mine goes a bit porridgey – too much love there x

  2. The Grubworm Says:

    Ohhh, hops. Now that is something that I have never tasted in food (and maybe far too copiously in drink). I like the sound of the slight bitterness, it would really offset the creamy rice and freshen it up somewhat. Now, where can one buy hops I wonder?

  3. Katherine Natoora Says:

    That recipe looks amazing. Great tips on stirring! Unfortunately those lovely wild hops are now out of season (boohoo) but will be around again next spring. This time of year I’d try it with nettles – they taste a bit like an intense spinach.

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