Quince is considered as one of the oldest fruits in the world. Native to Eastern Asia, they can be found also across Southern Europe and the Middle East. Quinces are appreciated for their intense aroma, flavour, and tartness. However, most varieties of quince are too hard and tart to be eaten raw.
They are cooked or used for jams, jellies, or roasted together with meat dishes.In Sicily, they are mostly used to make a delicious jam and the cotognata: a sort of hard jam, which is placed in typical Sicilian moulds, to be served in slices or cubes like jelly sweets.
After I made my jam and cotognata, I decided to use the remaining quinces to make this gourmet risotto. The combination of laurel and black pepper creates a perfect harmony of flavour and aromas, and which makes this risotto one of the most delicious I have ever tasted.
- Preparation time15 Minutes
- Cooking time30 Minutes
- Servingserves 3 persons
- Cooking methodStove
– prepare the vegetable stock in a separate pan;
– when the vegetable stock is ready, maintain its temperature high by keeping the pan on the stove on a low fire;
– chop the onion and put it in a large saucepan together with a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil;
– peel the quinces, remove the core and the seeds, then chop them into cubes and pour them onto the onion. Top with the laurel leaves;
– put the saucepan on the stove on medium heat;
– as soon as the oil starts frying, lower the heat to the minimum, cover the saucepan with a lid and cook till onion and quinces soften in their own liquid;
– when the onion becomes soft, add the rice and mix well for a few seconds. Pour the wine and let it evaporate;
– scoop up and pour the broth from its pot with a ladle till you cover the rice;
– stir well and keep on watching the rice closely: as soon as most of the broth evaporates, pour in some more hot vegetable stock;
– repeat the above step till the rice cooks (it should take around 15-20 minutes). Do not add too much stock at one go whenever you top up the risotto, because when the rice finally cooks there must not be too much liquid in the pan;
– when the rice is cooked, remove the pan from the stove and add the butter;
– mix well till the butter melts completely, then add the grated cheese and stir well to amalgamate it;
– add the ground black pepper and mix well;