Taleggio and Pear Risotto. I learned from Fr. Z of wdtprs.com that one should not just make taleggio (a mild soft, buttery cheese) risotto, but one should make taleggio AND pear risotto. It is the Feast of All Saints and so a nice home cooked meal was in order.
Taleggio and Pear Risotto
Prep: 30 minutes
- 1 liter of vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 cup Carnaroli Rice (125 g)
- 1 leek
- 2 Tbsp butter
- Splash of Brandy (or white wine)
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 soft pear
- 6 oz of Taleggio cheese (about 200 g)1. Heat stock in its own pot. Slice leek in thin slices, chop the pear in cubes, cut off crust of taleggio and chop into cubes.
2. Melt butter in medium size pot. Once melted, toss in sliced leeks and salt and pepper. Soften leeks (5-7 minutes). Put a splash of brandy or white wine in the pot and let this sizzle and reduce.
3. Put the cup of Arborio rice into the pot and stir, soaking up any remaining liquid of the butter and brandy. Turn the heat to medium. This allows the rice to toast a bit, but keep stirring and ensure the rice doesn’t stick to the pot. After 1 minute, ladle in stock to cover the rice. Stir.
4. Keep adding liquid, one ladle at a time, as the rice absorbs the liquid. After 10 minutes, before adding more liquid, add the diced pear. Then continue to add more stock. Continue to stir, ensuring the rice doesn’t stick to the pan. There should be a bubbling of the liquid, but it shouldn’t be a violent bubble (this would cause the rice to burn).
5. After another 7-10 minutes, taste the rice for to ensure it is still somewhat al dente. Once the desired texture is reached, add the cubed taleggio and stir.
6. Plate and garnish with slices of pear, if desired.
Because it was the Feast of All Saints, we paired with a Pinto Gris. It was the perfect combination with the sweetness of the pears. For an easy side, slice another leek and pan fry in butter. Adding a splash of brandy and stock (if needed). Season with salt and pepper as cooking, then season with ground nutmeg as you are finishing.
And…after the wine was poured: