Saffron and quail egg risotto with purple sprouting broccoli
- April 2014
- Serves 4
- Hands-on time 1 hour
Here’s a different risotto recipe to try – it makes the most of seasonal purple sprouting broccoli and gets its great colour from strands of saffron. It’s creamy, too.
- 25.5g (10.7g saturated)
- 69g (2g sugars)
- 12-16 quail eggs
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 40g unsalted butter
- 2 banana shallots, finely chopped
- 350g carnaroli risotto rice (see tips)
- Large glass (about 175ml) dry white wine
- Good pinch saffron strands
- 750ml fresh vegetable stock, hot
- 200g purple sprouting broccoli, trimmed
- 45g parmesan or vegetarian alternative, grated
- Bring a pan of water to the boil, then add the quail eggs and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and plunge immediately into a bowl of cold water.
- Heat the oil and half the butter in a pan and gently fry the shallots over a low heat for 10 minutes or until soft. Add the rice and stir to coat in the buttery juices for a minute or so until the grains become translucent. Add the wine and stir until it has all bubbled away.
- Add the saffron strands with a ladleful of hot stock. Keep stirring over a medium heat until all the stock has been absorbed, then add another ladleful of stock. Keep adding stock and stirring in this way until the rice is al dente and creamy.
- Meanwhile, carefully peel the eggs and set aside (see tips). Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the broccoli for 3-4 minutes or until just tender. Drain and refresh under cold water. Slice the stems and leaves finely and roughly chop the florets. Set aside.
- Once the risotto is just cooked, stir in the broccoli, remaining butter and grated parmesan. Remove the pan from the heat, cover and leave to stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Carnaroli risotto rice grains are slightly longer than the more common arborio rice. They have a higher starch content, resulting in a creamier risotto, and they keep their shape better during cooking.
You can cook and shell the quail eggs the day before, then chill overnight. Bring the eggs to room temperature before halving and serving. Quail eggs are fiddly to peel so it’s best to do so when you aren’t in a rush. If you cook and peel them in advance, you won’t have to factor them into your stirring-the-risotto time.
Roll any cooled leftover risotto into small balls, then open-freeze on baking sheets. Store them in the freezer in sealed bags. Defrost, coat in flour, egg and breadcrumbs, then deep-fry for the perfect nibble.
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