If you expected to celebrate the beginning of summer with, I don't know, an ice cream, a no-bake cheesecake, a fresh rice salad, you are mistaken, gentlemen!
Since Turin today welcomed me with 21° C (69° F) and a grey sky (it seems late September), I'll show you how I adjust in a nanosecond! And so, shouldering a bottle of super beer, I am going to give you a recipe not summery, but with a great appeal.
In fact, back from C'è fermento (a Piedmontese event dedicated to craft breweries): in one evening I was able to taste an unknown number of beers (about 16 different beers, thanks to the collaboration with other friends/tasters), to eat a plate of cheeses that will give me the amount of calcium for the next 10 months (thanks to Fiandino Farms, present to the event with their cheeses and butter -the famous butter 1889, salted and unsalted) and to enjoy good music (thanks to the Treves Blues Band)… but let's get back to beer.
Of the 15 breweries present (many of which from Piedmont, but there were also representatives of other Italian regions), two were "well-known faces" (Baladin and SorA'LaMa'), I knew a couple of them by their reputation (Beba and Pause Café ), some others are easily reachable from Turin (Birrificio la Piazza), but there were lot of surprises: some original, good and "real" beer… in short, an evening with a great alcoholic content (I didn't have to drive, oh yeah! I had a "Bob" for the evening) and a great taste!
After this hymn to craft breweries, that I really love so much (but I also love home brew beers, uh?! I'm not a racist), let's talk about THE beer, the one that I used to make this recipe even tastier than it already is. In fact, instead of using any beer (never!!), I used my favorite beer, a Super (yes, this is its name) made by Baladin brewery (I make a pilgrimage to this brewery at least once a year, and here you can see some pictures taken on my last visit, just after my graduation).
Those of you who know this beer might ask me "but you waste it for a risotto?" … But believe me, it's not wasted! A small bottle of this beer (25 cl) will give to the risotto a fullness of flavor and a wonderful aftertaste. And, of course, you could use the big bottle (75 cl) to accompany the risotto (so you'll be happy twice). For those who haven't access to this beer (which is also sold on-line and by Eataly … but now in Piedmont you could also found it in several bars), you can just use another good amber beer with strong taste … maybe it won't be the same thing, but it will be equally good!
Ingredients (2 servings)
* a little onion, finely chopped
* 200 g carnaroli rice
* 25 cl Super beer -or other amber beer (you could also increase the amount of beer and decrease the amount of broth)
* 1 liter of vegetable broth (made with onion, carrots and celery)
* 100 g sliced speck roughly chopped (if you prefer, you could use diced speck)
* 70 g sweet gorgonzola cheese, roughly diced
* unsalted butter
Put a knob of butter in a pan and brown the chopped onion. Now add the speck and brown it for a couple of minutes. Then add the rice and toast it for a few minutes, then simmer with the beer. Then continue cooking the rice adding vegetable stock, until rice is cooked (it will take about 18 to 20 minutes). Turn off the heat and stir the risotto with some gorgonzola cheese, leaving the last few cubes to garnish the dishes, so that each dish is creamy to the right point!
And with this light and fresh dish…. HAVE A NICE SUMMER!