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18-04-2011
CHERRY BLOSSOM

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April is for Asparagus...in Italy there are white and green ones, and green ones that turn to pink.

My recipe is for the green ones with whole grain rice.
Cut off the woody stems and discard.The tips should be cut and kept to add to the risotto. Steam the stalks.
Chop 1 large yellow onion and fry gently. (If you don't have a lot of time pre-cook the rice for 10 minutes in a pressure cooker) then add to the onions, otherwise fry the dry rice with the onions.
In another saucepan heat the organic vegetable cube with water and when dissolved pour onto the rice with a ladle, keeping the rice covered with liquid at all times. Use also the water left over from steamaing the stems! The tips can  be mixed in about 15 minutes after proceeding to cook.
Liquidize the stems and add to the risotto near the end of the cooking time. Once all the liquid has been  absorbed stir in some good quality olive oil and sprinkle freshly ground pepper to taste. Bon appetit!

Our cherry blossom was spectacular this month and sadly it is already over. The really hot spell brought the flowers out early and the branches were so thickly laden that you could'nt see the leaves. Next year I hope to do a cherry blossom workshop, but the question is when will they flower?!
Lastly we enjoyed our afternoon at the Milan design week visiting the Triennale where there was an exhibition celebrating 50 years of design. To finish up with we ate at our favourite restaurant on the Navigli called Ponte Rosso. NB Their pistachio cake is to die for served with zabaglione cream!


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