When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.
When Driscoll’s Berries contacts you and asks if you’d like to try their raspberries, you tell them yes; and then make a risotto!
The truth is, I’ve been buying Driscoll’s berries for years. Even when the berries aren’t in season, they’re usually pretty good. But during the summer, when the raspberries are at their peak, they are out-of-this-world-amazing!
I was sent some coupons for $2.00 off a package of berries–which is a good deal, but I was sort of sad that I still had to pay a little over $2 out of pocket per package–especially when they’re in season. Berries are expensive!
I brought the berries home and devoured a small handful! They were plump and sweet. Just how I like them!
I knew I had a really busy week ahead, and wouldn’t have a chance to get to the berries before they lost their freshness, so I decided to freeze them. Freezing the fruit at it’s peak ripeness is a great way to enjoy the berries all winter long.
In my opinion, frozen berries picked in-season always trump fresh berries out-of-season. Always.
I had all sorts of sweet ideas about how to use the raspberries. Pies, tarts, jams, jellies, quick breads…and they would all be equally delicious; but I wanted something savory. And I didn’t want a sauce.
I found this recipe on Driscoll’s website that looked pretty good, and I’m probably going to give it a try eventually (probably during the holidays…yum!):
But it wasn’t what I wanted tonight.
I did a lot of searching, and had a hard time finding inspiration. There’s not really many savory raspberry recipes–aside from salads or sauces–that I’m aware of, and that’s quite unfortunate.
So I ventured a little outside of the box and decided to try the raspberries in a risotto. I was pretty sure it’d taste good, but I was also pretty sure Piyush would hate it.
I was right; the risotto tasted amazing. But I was also wrong. Luckily, Piyush didn’t hate my risotto. Quite the opposite, actually.
In fact, Piyush loved it; and that means something. He’s such a food critic.
Raspberry Risotto with Herbes de Provence and Chevre
- 1 c. uncooked arborio rice
- 5-6 c. veggie stock
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 large shallots – chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves- smashed and chopped
- 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. herbes de provence
- 3 tbsp. dry white wine (I used a dry Marsala)
- zest of 1 small lemon
- juice of 1 small lemon
- 2 oz. chevre (goat cheese)
- 1 c. frozen Driscoll’s raspberries
- salt- to taste
- cracked black pepper- to taste
- Bring Stock to a simmer in a small saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.
- Pour 2 tbsp. olive oil into a heavy bottomed pan (I used my dutch oven) and heat over medium-high flame. Once the oil is hot, add the shallot and garlic–stirring constantly. You don’t want the shallot to take on a brown color, but you want it to be cooked through and semi-translucent –approximately 3 to 4 minutes.
- Once the shallot and garlic are cooked, add the Herbes de Provence. Stir to combine.
- Add the uncooked rice to the pot and cook (stirring constantly) for about a minute. Add 3 tbsp. wine to deglaze. Keep stirring the rice until all the wine seems to be absorbed and the pan is looking dry.
- Add one ladle of stock (approximately 1/2 c.) and stir until nearly all of it is absorbed by the rice. Keep stirring and adding stock 1/2 c. at a time as the rice absorbs it. I ended up using about 5 cups of stock, but it will really depend on how long your rice takes to cook (you want the rice to be al dente –it should have a little bite to it) and how creamy you like your risotto. This process will take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes.
- Add the goat cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Keep cooking and stirring until the cheese is completely melted. The risotto should have a nice thick, creamy consistency at this point. Fold in the frozen raspberries. Cook 1 or 2 minutes longer, until the raspberries are no longer frozen. Remove from heat.
- Serve as soon as possible for best flavor. Garnish with extra chevre.
Herbes de Provence is a fantastic French dried-herb blend. It usually includes herbs such as: lavender, rosemary, tarragon, basil and thyme. Aside from this risotto, it’s also wonderful to use when roasting a chicken. It smells so fragrant and floral!
This was a perfect meal on a hot, summer day. Nothing beats a bowl of risotto and a nice, chilled glass of wine! :)
Well….almost nothing! You see, I also made a batch of Kala Jamuns. Kala Jumuns–blackened gulab jamuns– are amazing Indian sweets, and I finally recreated them perfectly (thanks Maa, Baba, and everyone else that helped with the sweet-making advice)!
You can read about kala jamuns and gulab jamuns HERE, and see my first attempt to master this sweet. …and if you’re interested, check back. I’ll have the basic recipe posted soon!