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Summer Recipe | Courgette & Basil Risotto with Crispy Hen's Egg

Enjoy the process of compiling this delicious dish, before impressing your guests

'In my view, a perfect summer dinner recipe, paired with a crisp glass of white wine on a warm night. Courgettes are in abundance this time of year and we love to use this opportunity to showcase one of our favourite summer vegetables with a classic risotto base, featuring the addition of a crispy fried runny St. Ewe egg. The vibrant green colour, and aromatic basil notes make this one of our firm favourites on The Herring dinner menu' - Tom O'Brien, Senior Sous Chef at the Herring

Serves 6

Risotto base ingredients:

1100ml organic stock, such as chicken, fish, vegetable
1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic
½ a head of celery
90g Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
A couple of knobs of unsalted butter
400g risotto rice
2 wine glasses of dry white vermouth (dry Martini or Noilly Prat) or dry white wine

Method:

1. Heat the stock. Finely dice onion and celery. Mince the garlic. Grate parmesan using a fine grater or microplane.
2. In a separate pan, heat the oil and butter over a low heat. Now add the onions, garlic and celery, and fry gently for about 15 minutes, or until softened but not browned.
3. Add the risotto rice and increase the cooking temperature. Keep stirring the rice as to prevent it from catching on the bottom of the pan. After one minute it will look slightly translucent. Add the alcohol of choice, and stir in. The harsh alcohol flavour will evaporate out.
4. Once the alcohol has cooked into the rice, add a ladle of hot stock and a good pinch of sea salt. Turn the heat down to a simmer so the rice doesn’t overcook on the outside before the inside is cooked.
5. Now to add ladles of stock. You will need to keep stirring and almost bash the starch out of the rice, allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next. This will take around 15 minutes. Carry on adding stock until the rice is soft but with a slight bite. Don’t forget to check the seasoning carefully. Remove the pan from the heat, add another knob of butter and the Parmesan, then stir well.

Courgette & basil puree ingredients:

6 large courgettes - local is best!
1 bunch of basil
250g of unsalted butter
3 cloves of garlic
250g of rocket

Method:
1. Add your butter to a heavy bottomed pan and allow it to melt over a gentle heat.
2. Thinly slice your courgettes, roughly chop your basil, and mince the garlic.
3. Add everything into the pan and cook down gently until your courgettes are completely soft.
4. Once completely softened, tip the contents into a sieve or colander and allow to completely drain.
5. Once drained, pour everything into a blender. At this stage introduce the rocket leaf to the mix.
6. Blitz on full speed for 8 minutes until completely smooth and vivid green. Pass through a fine sieve and cool.

Crispy Hen’s egg ingredients:

6 free range eggs (we recommend St. Ewe eggs for the richest yolks!)
100g plain flour
4 eggs beaten
100g Panko breadcrumbs

Method:

1. Boil a pan of water large enough to comfortably house all eggs.
2. Once boiling, carefully add all six eggs to the hot water.
3. Cook for 6 minutes.
4. Once cooked, immediately drain boiling water and run the cold tap over your eggs until completely cooled.
5. Peel your eggs.
6. Set up your pane station (passing food through seasoned flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs). In three separate dishes, tip your flour, egg and breadcrumbs.
7. Dip each egg firstly into the flour, making surely evenly coated and not carrying too much excess flour.
8. Cover in beaten egg.
9. Finally dip into the Panko breadcrumbs.

To serve

1. Have your courgette puree and crispy egg ready to go before you begin your risotto
2. Upon completion of the risotto, Stir in the courgette & basil puree. The risotto should take on a wonderful vibrant green colour.
3. Preheat a small pan of oil, (or if you have a domestic fryer) to 180’c or, chip frying temperature.
4. Add your eggs to the oil, once they have become wonderfully golden and crispy, remove from the oil season with sea salt.
5. Serve on top of the risotto, We LOVE to finish our risotto with a healthy zesting of lemon.

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