Risotto is always a popular dish in the restaurant and we usually have a verison on the menu. The sherry vinegar caramel works well with the vegetables and crispy potato rosti. It's a combination I first tried on a trip to Rome with my chefs. They save up all the tips and use them to eat in some of the best restaurants in the world
- 8 baby carrots, peeled and cut into 1cm (1/2in) slices
- 3 tblsp rapeseed oil
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 300 g (11oz) celeriac, peeled and finely diced
- 850 ml (1 pint 9fl oz) vegetable stock
- 1 large shallot, finely diced
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 200 g (7oz) risotto rice, such as arborio or carnaroli
- 100 ml (3 1/2fl oz) dry white wine
- 25 g (1oz) freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tblsp mascarpone cheese
- 1 tblsp snipped fresh chives
- 1 tblsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- sherry vinegar caramel, to serve
- parmesan foam, to garnish
- 4 crispy potato rosti
- fresh micro salad leaves, to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4).
- Place the carrots on a small baking sheet that will take the vegetables in one even layer and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Scatter over the thyme sprigs and season to taste, then roast for 5 minutes. Add the celeriac to the carrots and cook for another 10–15 minutes, until all the vegetables are cooked through and lightly coloured, tossing them occasionally to ensure they cook evenly.
- Meanwhile, pour the vegetable stock into a pan and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Keep warm.
- Heat a non-stick sauté pan over a medium heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil. Tip in the shallot and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes, until well softened and lightly coloured. Stir in the risotto rice and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the white wine and allow to bubble down and reduce, stirring constantly.
- Add a ladleful of the warm vegetable stock and cook gently until all the liquid has almost been absorbed, stirring regularly with a wooden spoon. Continue adding stock in this way until the rice is al dente – this should take about 20 minutes depending on the type of rice you use. The risotto should be quite thick rather than soupy and each grain of rice should be holding its shape.
- Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the Parmesan, mascarpone and herbs. Season to taste, then fold in the roasted carrot and celeriac, discarding the thyme sprigs.
- To serve, place a 7.5cm (3in) cooking ring on warmed plates and fill with the risotto, pressing it down gently with a spoon. Carefully remove the ring and drizzle around the sherry vinegar caramel. Spoon over the Parmesan foam and arrange a potato rosti on top of each risotto. Garnish with the micro salad.
Prepare and weigh out all the ingredients up to 1 hour before cooking, but it’s best to leave the celeriac until the last minute, as it tends to oxidise. For a wine match, a warm and ripe south of France Chardonnay or a New Zealand Pinot Noir.