BERRIES HAVE THE BEST MOUTHFEEL, the way you can feel each one individually in your mouth—like tapioca, or really well-cooked sushi rice. But people have lost some important berry vibe. These days everybody wants them to be sweet. I think they should be sour. That’s what I liked about saskatoons when I first encountered them in Newfoundland, where they call them serviceberries. I also like how the harvest window is so small. They’re not exactly rare. But commercially, you don’t see them that much. The last thing is that they’re really good for you—rich in anti-oxidants and very healthy. —J.C.
Presented by The Extraordinary Italian Taste, Made in Italy
In this recipe, the brilliant, triple-Michelin starred Italian chef Giancarlo Perbellini builds a beautifully creamy risotto with stock and sweet shallots. Then, instead of folding the rest of his flavours into the traditional muddled whole, punctuates the base with exclamations of flavour: dabs of intense mushroom, shavings of cured fish roe, its salty, umami intensity lifted with smoke, and a sprinkle of breadcrumbs, for crunch.
- 3 slices Tuscan (white) bread, crusts removed
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt, pepper
- 500 g (18 oz) mixed wild mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 3 French (or 1 banana) shallots, minced
- 300 ml (1¼ cups) white wine
- 50 ml (1/4 cup) wine vinegar
- 1 pc bottarga, preferably tuna
- Wood chips (or flavour puck) for smoking
- 300 ml (1 ¼ cups) carnaroli rice
- 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock, at a simmer
- 1 tbsp butter
- 60 ml (¼ cup) grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- Vincotto (cooked wine must) as needed
- Salt as needed
Preheat oven to 140° C (275°F).
To make the bread dust, cube the bread and distribute on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil, season, and transfer to the middle rack of the oven until crisp – about 15 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and chop until reduce to crumbs. Set aside.
For the mushroom emulsion, toss mushrooms with lemon juice, transfer to a saucepan, and add cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, then simmer for 30 minutes. Pass through cheesecloth-lined strainer into a fresh saucepan (discard solids). Reduce liquid to a syrup and set aside.
For the shallot reduction, combine shallots, wine and vinegar in a saucepan and reduce by half over medium heat. Set aside.
To smoke the bottarga, place the cured roe in a heat proof glass dish. Place wood chips alongside on a bed of aluminum foil, and light them with a blowtorch. Cover with a second glass dish and let smoke for 30-40 minutes. Transfer bottarga to the refrigerator.
To make the risotto, toast the rice in a dry pan over medium heat but do not colour – about 2 minutes. Add two ladles s of shallot reduction, and stir until the liquid is almost completely evaporated. Follow with a ladleful of chicken stock, and stir until evaporated. Repeat until no stock remains, the mixture is creamy, and the rice is cooked al dente – 15-20 minutes. Stir in the butter and Parmigiano Reggiano. Taste, and season with salt if necessary. If the risotto lacks acidity stir in a little more shallot reduction
To finish, distribute the risotto between four warmed plates. Finish each serving with dabs of mushroom emulsion, a sprinkling of vin cotto, bottarga shavings and bread dust. Enjoy at once.
GIANCARLO PERBELLINI - CASA PERBELLINI
ABOUT THE KITCHEN
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