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Lesson number one: Do not fret about how little of the artichoke leaves are actually going into the risotto, the rest will be dipped into vinaigrette or added to any kind of stock (that’s what I did with mine). I did not cut enough of the leaves so some of them were a bit tough, but you know what that’s ok, it was my first time cooking with them and if this ever happens to you, you can always invent a game like, whoever gets the most tough bits of artichoke gets a toy panda or something. Anyway, artichokes are featured as my vegetable of the week.

I haven’t tried the combination of cod and artichoke before but in my mind there wasn’t a reason why they wouldn’t work well together with the creaminess of the risotto rice. Also, this risotto was so filing, it fed three of us as well as 2 lunches during the week (in fact, the recommended measurements on my risotto packet said 75g pp which seemed like loads, so I reduced it 60g pp and as I said, there was more than enough)!

It was interesting to lighten the risotto and adapt it to Spring, because in my mind it’s more of an autumnal/wintery dish so it was nice to experiment with lighter flavours.

Ingredients:

– 180g arborio rice
– 2 large artichoke heads
– 500ml  homemade vegetable stock
– 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
– 1 large onion, finely chopped
– 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
– 1 large fillet of cod, copped into bite-sized chunks
– Pinch of sea salt
– Freshly ground black pepper
– 100ml dry white wine
– Juice of 1 lemon
– Handful of finely chopped basil leaves

Method:
– Peel the artichokes until you get to the light leaves, remove the hairy centre with a spoon and halve them, finely chop the paler leaves from the bottom of the leave to about halfway up.
– Put the artichokes in warm water with half of the lemon juice.
– Heat half olive oil in a pan and gently brown the garlic and onions before pouring in the rice, stir until translucent and little by little, add the wine, keep stirring until the majority of it has been absorbed, then add in a ladle of stock and season. Turn the heat down and add in the artichoke haves, and the stock, keep stirring.
– In a separate pan, add the rest of the olive oil and stir together the cod and chopped basil, season well, before adding to the pan.
– Make sure all the stock has been absorbed and all the ingredients are mixed well together, dish out onto plates and serve with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.

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