Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help.
~ May Sarton
Risotto, the making of – in past tense:
Made steaming chicken stock in a deep saucepan with two salty cubes and two cups of water. Chucked in nine forest-green cavolo nero leaves. Left the greens to simmer in the boiling stock for seven minutes, or maybe eight. Took out the leaves and set them aside.
Swirled a pat of butter and a spot of olive oil in a skillet on a flame. Watched the butter and oil sigh and meander around the pan in shimmering golden dribbles. Added in half an onion, diced. Stirred the onion through to fragrant-hood. Added in a cup of arborio rice, a pinch of saffron, two bits of lemon peel, a sprig of rosemary… gave it all a stir.
Added in wine in stages. Added in warm stock in stages. Stirred. Stirred some more. Stirred till my arm felt even heavier than my eyelids.
Chopped the cavolo nero leaves. Added the chopped leaves, a squeeze of fresh lemon and a sliver of butter to the rice in the final minute of cooking.
Dished up three portions, complete with salt, pepper and wispy yellow shreds of parmesan cheese.