Why Pear and Taleggio Risotto?
Taleggio, an Italian cheese from the Lombardy region, was already thought of as a delicacy in 1762, when Casanova discovered it for himself.
A soft and creamy cheese with a pungent aroma and decisive taste with an edible thin reddish rind, taleggio is delicious on its own or suburb, matched with sweet crisp fruit such as pear. Given the ease in which it melts, taleggio is a masterpiece when matched with simple risottos.
This risotto is one of my favourite ways of using taleggio as it reminds me of my favourite after dinner course – the cheese plate. The fresh crunch of sweet pear is the perfect finishing touch in this creamy cheese studded risotto, promising to have pleased even the likes of Casanova.
250g risotto rice
70g Taleggio cheese, cubed
1 medium William pear, sliced thinly into strips with the skin on
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 brown onion, finely chopped
20g Parmesan, freshly grated
1.5 litre hot vegetable or chicken stock
50g unsalted butter
3 tablespoons E.V.O.O
75ml dry vermouth or dry white wine
Place the pear in a small bowl and cover with lemon juice to prevent browning.
In a heavy bottomed pan melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over a low heat until soft and translucent. Add the rice and stir until all grains are coated in the butter and oil.
Add the vermouth and stir until evaporated. Ladle by ladle add the stock only adding more when the previous ladle has been absorbed. Stir and continue to add the stock until the rice is just cooked, about 20 minutes.
When the rice is just cooked, (there should still be a little bite in the centre of each grain) fold through the Parmesan and taleggio. Season with salt and pepper.
Just before serving fold through the pear.
Serves 2 generously.