Eating seasonally is one of the simplest ways to reduce your food miles so to help you keep on top of your carbon footprint we are going to bring you a recipe every month using an ingredient in season. In February we are championing the humble carrot. This versatile ingredient is rarely seen as the star of a dish but here we bring out all its layers of flavour by cooking it two ways. First are the carrots in the risotto, slowly boiled as the risotto cooks becoming soft and sweet. Then are the crispy carrots to top the risotto, roasted in the oven they bring out more depth of flavour and the parmesan brings a nutty note to them.
Using an induction hob gives quick and controllable heat for cooking the risotto while convection fan ovens give even heat throughout the oven for perfect crispy roasted carrots.
Three medium size carrots, one sliced and two diced
1 ltr vegetable stock
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
250g risotto rice
40g Parmigiano Reggiano finely grated
Pre-heat the oven to 200°c
Toss the sliced carrots in a little oil and lay in a baking tray, place in the oven and set a timer for 20 minutes
Place a large deep frying pan over a medium heat, pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil, fry the onion until starting to soften then add the diced carrots, fry for a few more minutes until the onion is slightly golden.
Add the garlic and fry for one minute, add the rice and stir for another minute coating the rice in the oil and flavours from the vegetables.
A little at a time begin adding the stock to the pan, stir until all the stock has been absorbed then add the next pour of stock, keep adding and stirring for around 20 minutes when the rice is cooked.
Meanwhile after the 20 minutes has passed for the roasted carrots sprinkle 10g of the Parmigiano over the sliced carrots and return to the oven for 10 minutes.
Once the rice is cooked add the butter to the risotto and stir until melted. Turn off the heat under the pan then add the remaining 30g Parmigiano to the risotto, stir until fully combined.
Allow to rest for 5 minutes then serve in bowls topped with the roasted carrots and a sprinkling of grated Parmigiano.