Prawn and Saffron Risotto with Dill pesto
This recipe was inspired by something that Isaac and I ate in a great restaurant called Kampa Park in Prague.
First, make the pesto. Whizz the chopped dill, the crushed garlic and the extra-virgin olive oil together in a food processor and season to taste with some salt. Add more extra-virgin olive oil if the pesto seems too thick - it should be a nice drizzling consistency. Set aside.
Next, make the risotto. Put the light chicken stock into a saucepan and bring it to a simmer. Keep it gently simmering away while you make the risotto. Make sure that the stock isn't at a rolling boil for the 35 minutes or so that it will take to cook the rice, otherwise it will reduce a lot and be very strong, and you'll need more liquid.
Melt half the butter in a frying pan with the crushed garlic and 2 tablespoons (30ml (1fl oz)) of the white wine. Add the prawns and cook them in the garlic butter and white wine for 3-4 minutes, until they are opaque. Remove the prawns onto a plate and set them aside.
Cook the finely chopped onion in the remaining garlic butter and wine mixture on a low heat with the lid on. Then, remove the lid and add the risotto rice and the saffron and cook for a minute, stirring. Next, add the remainder of the white wine and boil for 1-2 minutes until most of the wine has evaporated. Add a ladleful of simmering stock (about 110ml (4fl oz)) to the rice, and season with some salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Cook gently until this liquid has been absorbed, then add another ladleful of hot stock. Repeat this process until the rice is just cooked and the texture is how you want it. It may take anything from 20 to 35 minutes to cook. I like my risotto still to be a bit juicy - if it is too dry, it will taste stodgy and be heavy. You might not need all the stock, or you might need a little extra.
Add the finely grated Coolea or Parmesan, whichever you're using, and the reserved prawns in garlic butter and serve the risotto in bowls with a drizzle of the dill pesto over the top.