As you know, autumn has come to the Southern hemisphere. I can’t lie… I don’t mind it. I welcome the fresher air and the leaves changing colour on the trees. It is a beautiful season. And I LOVE autumn food: mushrooms, chestnuts, quince… pomegranates. In fact, pomegranates always put a smile on my face: I have always thought they are quite an impressive fruit and also rather deceptive. Just by looking at it, would you ever guess how beautiful it is on the inside? I always say that pomegranate arils look like rubies. Italians often cook with it during Christmas and New Year, as it is considered to bring good luck and prosperity. If you follow Manu’s Menu, you will know that I am not new to publishing recipes of risotto made with fruits (see my Strawberry Risotto, Blueberry Risotto, Taleggio and Apple Risotto and Pear and Gorgonzola Risotto), so today’s recipe will not come as a shock to you. I believe that certain fruits work really well in savoury dishes and pomegranate is one of these. It is sweet and tangy at the same time and the crunch of the arils adds as a nice touch to each spoonful of creamy risotto. Enjoy!
The recipe for an unusual, yet delicious and sophisticated risotto made with pomegranate.
- 320 gms – 11.3 oz. rice Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone nano
- 2 tbsp onion finely chopped
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 80 ml – 1/3 cup red wine
- 120 ml – ½ cup pomegranate juice
- 45 gms – 3 tbsp butter
- 4 tbsp Parmigiano Reggiano finely grated
- 1 lt – 4 cups salty water or very light vegetable stock I used water as I did not want the stock to overpower the delicate flavour of the ingredients
- Pomegranate arils to garnish
- Salt to taste
Start by putting the water with a pinch of salt (or stock) in a pot and heat it on the fire. The water/stock has to be hot all the time while you are cooking risotto, so that the rice temperature does not drop when you add the water to it.
Put the finely chopped onion and extra virgin olive oil in a pot and let it cook on a slow fire, until the onion becomes soft and transparent.
Add the rice, mix well and let it cook for 1 or 2 minutes, until it becomes translucent.
Now pour in the red wine and let the alcohol burn off by cooking on a high flame.
Add the pomegranate juice and let it cook until it dries out.
Then add enough hot water/stock to cover the rice and turn the fire to medium-low.
Keep cooking, occasionally stirring the rice and adding hot water/stock little by little, until the rice is cooked. It is going to take approximately 18 to 20 minutes depending on the rice you are using.
When the rice is ready, put the fire off.
Make sure that your risotto is moist (or, as we say, all’onda – which literally means wavy) and not sticky. Check for salt and season to your liking.
Serve immediately with pomegranate arils for garnish.
Make sure not to wash your rice before cooking it. You need the starch to get a creamy risotto.