Parsnip, Blue Cheese and Thyme Risotto (4-6)

A rich and creamy risotto for the cooler months from Thomasina Miers.

Parsnip, Blue Cheese and Thyme Risotto (4-6)
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Parsnip, Blue Cheese and Thyme Risotto (4-6)
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Heat half the butter and the oil in a large saucepan on a lowish flame, until the butter starts to sizzle, then add the shallots and season generously.
  2. Cover the pan, leave the onions to sweat gently for 10 minutes, until they are soft, then take off the lid, add the diced parsnip and fry, stirring regularly, for three minutes.
  3. Add the rice, and stir for a few minutes more, until the grains are coated in the fats and almost translucent. Turn up the heat, add the wine, and simmer for two minutes, until the alcohol has evaporated and most of the liquid has been absorbed into the rice.
  4. Add a small ladleful of stock to the pot, and lightly beat into the rice with a wooden spoon, until the rice has absorbed all the liquid.
  5. Repeat, adding just a small ladleful of stock at a time and beating fairly continuously (this constant motion is the secret to a light, creamy risotto), until the rice kernels are tender, but still have a bite to them. (If you use up all the stock before the rice is done, add more hot stock or hot water, ladleful by ladleful.)
  6. While the risotto is cooking, pound the parsley, nuts, vinegar and oil, ideally in a pestle and mortar, until you have a textured dressing, then season to taste.
  7. Steam the quartered parsnips for three minutes, until just soft, then leave to steam dry. Melt 20g butter with the honey and thyme in a frying pan, until sizzling, then add the steamed parsnips and fry on a fairly high heat until golden and caramelised.
  8. Once the risotto is cooked, take it off the heat and stir in the parmesan, blue cheese and remaining butter. Season to taste, cover and leave to rest for a few minutes. Spoon into shallow bowls, top with the caramelised parsnips, drizzle over the dressing and serve hot.
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