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02.05.2015

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One of my favourite flavour combinations, as you probably know already, is sweet potato and feta, with lime juice and chilli pepper. Here I’ve transferred this amazing combo to a luscious risotto.

Risotto is one of those dishes that has a bad reputation. Many consider it to be a difficult food to make. In my opinion it’s not difficult, it just requires patience and the ability to follow instructions. These are surprisingly rare attributes in today’s world! The tricks (if you can call them that, all they really are is common sense) to preparing a stress-free risotto are:
a. Have everything you need prepared, measured and chopped before you start. Have your stock next to your pan, your ladle and your wooden spoon all set out.
b. Know before you start that you’re going to be standing there for a while. Don’t try and do other jobs at the same time. Have your salad made, your table set, your starters prepped beforehand. Risotto needs just a few minutes rest before serving. Otherwise it will turn to stodge.
c. Take it slow, and use this time to meditate, make plans, sort out dilemmas in your head, or just daydream. As Nigella says “I find risotto immensely comforting to make: in times of strain, mindless repetitive activity – in this case, 20 minutes of stirring – can really help”.

Ingredients

2 + 4 Tbs butter

1 orange sweet potato (approx. 380gr), cubed small

1 onion, medium sized, finely chopped

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 1/4 cup risotto rice

1.5 lt vegetable stock, hot

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes

1/4 tsp thyme, dried

175 gr goat’s feta cheese, cubed

1/2 lime, juice

extra chilli flakes for serving (optional)

Step 1

Melt the 2 Tbs butter in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the sweet potato cubes and cook for about 12-15 minutes stirring often, till softened. Set aside.

Step 2

Place a large, deep frying pan on the stove. On the hotplate next to it, put the stock on to simmer in a small saucepan. Get your ladle ready.

Step 3

In the large pan, melt the rest of the butter over medium heat. Cook the onion gently for 5 minutes till translucent. Add the rice, stir to coat and absorb the butter, and continue stirring for a few seconds. Add the wine and stir till it has evaporated.

Step 4

When the wine has reduced completely add a ladlefull of stock to the pan. Stir gently till absorbed. Lower the heat. When the stock has been absorbed (not before), add another ladlefull. Stir till absorbed and continue this way till the rice is cooked through. It will probably need about 20 to 25 minutes, and 1.2 litres of stock, but this will depend on the type of rice you use. After the first 15 minutes start taste-testing the rice.

Step 5

When the rice is almost done, add the spices and herbs, the sweet potato and feta cheese. Stir gently to incorporate without mushing up the cubes. Serve with a sprinkling of lime juice and some extra chilli flakes if desired.

The Greek version of this post is sponsored by Minerva Horio.

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