provided by Sally James, an Australian award-winning author, chef, and televison presenter
Try serving this risotto drizzled with a little balsamic vinegar and a mixed
green salad. Risottos are so versatile that you can almost always find suitable ingredients in your fridge or pantry to cook one on the spur of the moment. The rice itself is important, and although there are substitutes such as barley and rice-shaped pasta, called orzo, the most common rice for a successful risotto is arborio, originally grown in the Po valley in Italy.
555 calories per serving; 12 g total fat; 3.8 g saturated fat; 195 mg sodium
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large firm green pear, peeled and diced
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
freshly ground pepper
1 onion, chopped
11/2 cups arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
4 cups hot chicken stock
2–3 leaves fresh basil
2 tablespoons shaved parmesan cheese
1 (13-ounce) lean beef fillet
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
Heat half the oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the pear and cook for 1–2 minutes or until it starts to soften. Remove from pan, toss in some of the lemon juice, season with pepper, and set aside. Heat the remaining oil and sauté the onion for 1–2 minutes or until translucent. Add rice and cook 1–2 minutes. Pour in wine and cook, stirring until all liquid is absorbed. Add the chicken stock gradually, a ladle or so at a time, and cook, stirring occasionally. After 15 minutes add the pear, then continue adding the stock until rice is cooked, about 5–6 more minutes. Add the remaining lemon juice, zest, and basil. Remove from heat, cover, and allow to sit for 2–3 minutes.
While the rice is cooking, brush the beef with oil, coat with the pepper, and pan-sear on high heat until cooked medium rare or to taste. Remove from pan, cover with foil, and allow to sit for 5–10 minutes before slicing thinly.
To serve, toss the parmesan through the risotto and top with the warm beef.
Reprinted with permission from Fresh & Healthy: 100 Fabulous Heart Healthy Recipes by Sally James. Photography by Alan Benson. Copyright © 2001. Ten Speed Press, www.tenspeed.com