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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Strawberries...the Tears of Venus

Spring is almost here and that means the appearance of this beautiful red fruit.

Legend has it that when Adonis died, Venus shed tears that turned into strawberries..for this reason they  were  enjoyed by Romans at feasts held in his name. Shakespeare called strawberries food worthy of  fairies..and King Louis XIV had them planted in the gardens of  Versailles...

Anticipation..anticipation..for Spring and Strawberry season..
Here is a recipe from the Gourmand World Cookbook Award winner The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays &Special Occasions

Risotto alla Fragole (risotto with strawberries)

4 cups vegetable broth

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 leeks chopped finely

1 cup arborio or carnaroli rice

1 tablespoon butter (unsalted)

pinch of salt

1 cup Prosecco, Spumante or dry white wine

10 ounces fresh strawberries, washed and cut in half

Heat vegetable broth till boiling. Place olive oil in large saute pan. Place in chopped leeks and saute till leeks are just about golden. Place in rice and toast till rice is coated with oil and all liquid is evaporated. Add in wine or Prosecco. Stir till all liquid is evaporated. Place in ½ cup of vegetable broth and stir till all liquid is evaporated and repeat placing in ½ cup liquid til evaporated till rice is al dente (approximately 15 minutes).

Puree strawberries. When rice is almost done, place in strawberry puree. Stir in well. Remove from heat. Let stand for 2 minutes. Place 1 tablespon of butter on top and stir till melted. Serve ,top with grated parmigiana-reggiano cheese. Decorate plates with strawberry garnish.

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