Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sweet Peach Risotto

        Porridge is historically one of the most traditional breakfast dishes in Russia. We use oat, wheat, semolina, millet, buckwheat and rice to prepare diverse types of the same dish. Usually it’s a sweet preparation, with some sugar or honey, cottage cheese, fruits and nuts – to make it a more nutritious meal for the beginning of the day. As I mentioned above, rice, cooked in milk or cream, is often used to make porridge – it’s normally short-grain rice as it’s the most wide-spread variety in Russia. No wonder, when I came across Jamie Oliver’s sweet risotto recipe, I couldn’t but try it for my breakfast – as a substitute for traditional rice porridge.  I seriously doubt that Jamie himself saw his dish as a breakfast option, but, in my view, it was a wonderful dish to start a day with!

I was curios to get a more or less objective and authentic view on this issue, so I asked my friends from Italy whether it’s a common thing to have risotto for breakfast. “No! Never!” – they exclaimed. I tried to explain that I’m talking about not a savoury, but a sweet risotto, with some real fruits instead of “frutti di mare” and some milk instead of a stock. I was actually a bit afraid that I will be reproached for such a bold and unconventional attitude towards one of the most authentic Italian dishes but as I mentioned Jamie Oliver (they say, it’s a good debating strategy to make a reference to an authority) they got really excited about the whole idea and, with an enthusiastic smile, wondered when they can come to taste the dish. Any time – most welcome. Preferably, for breakfast!

Recipe adapted from the original one by Jamie Oliver


325 gm arborio rice
6 tbsp butter
240 ml white wine
1 lt milk
2 tbsp vanilla sugar
100 gm white chocolate, grated
100 gm dark chocolate, cut into small pieces
4 peaches, sliced


  1. Heat milk over medium heat and keep it warm.
  2. Melt 4 tbsp of butter in a pan. Add the rice and stir-fry for a few minutes. Add wine and let it evaporate almost completely. Start adding the hot milk, one ladleful at a time. Keep risotto on a slow but constant simmer. Add the vanilla sugar after 15 minutes and start to taste. As soon as the rice is al dente, take it off the heat, add the remaining butter and white chocolate, stir, place a lid on top and leave for a few minutes.
  3. To serve, divide the risotto between 6 plates and arrange the slices of peaches on top. Push a few chunks of chocolate into the centre of risotto (it will instantly start to melt). Garnish with mint leaves.

  1. I used canned peaches. If you are using fresh ones, poach them gently in orange juice before serving.
  2. Jamie Oliver suggested adding the sugar to the pan straight from the beginning. However, there’s a tip I’ve picked from another celebrity chef (which, as I can judge from my personal experience, is true) - sugar prolongs the cooking time of rice; so, I always add it to my sweet rice preparations almost at the very end.

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