More than just a pretty face: Borage Risotto Recipe
Borage is a favourite around here at Zin, both in the gardens and on the plate. Easy to grow, drought tolerant, and self seeding, you will see this blue & purple flowering edible plant in our gardens all year round.
A favourite in permaculture gardens for its attraction of bees and pollinating insects (which assists the pollination of nearby fruiting plants like zucchinis), it also deters unwanted insects like hornworms and adds rich nutrients to the soil. All of which makes it an ideal companion plant across our organic & biodynamic gardens.
And if that wasn’t enough, the borage flower also has a wonderful flavour & colour that can be used in teas, alongside cheeses, as a garnish, or in this case, as a base to our risotto. Depending on the individual palate, borage flavour can vary from a fresh cucumber flavour, to a salty, almost oyster taste.
As always, you can adapt this recipe to the season, or what you have in your pantry and garden. Stefano featured this recipe in our recent ‘Dinner With’ casual dining series, where he added roman sausage to the below recipe, plus did a variation with green peas rather than spinach. The world’s your oyster (or borage in this case)!
For those that don’t have a supply of borage in their back garden, firstly we suggest adding it to your next planting list, and secondly, if you are unable to source it in your local area, you can substitute it with an edible weed like stinging nettle (be sure to use gloves and blanch the leaves before handling) or almost any leafy fresh herb you have on hand.
- 280g risotto rice
- 1 L vegetable stock
- 150g fresh borage flowers
- 20g fresh spinach
- 40g butter
- 40g parmesan
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ brown onion
- ½ glass white wine
- Oil to cook
- Salt & pepper to taste
Note: You can substitute the borage for any fresh herb or edible weed of your choosing, like stinging nettle.
- Dice the onion & garlic. Heat up a pan and drizzle with oil, sauté the onion, garlic, borage & spinach, season with salt & pepper, then set to the side.
- Heat a deep pan or pot on the stove with oil, add the rice and toast for 2 minutes.
- Add the wine and cook while stirring until the wine has evaporated, then add the borage & spinach mixture plus a ladle of stock.
- Keep adding stock intermittently while stirring for another 16 minutes.
- Remove the risotto from the heat and let it rest for a few minutes, then add the parmesan & butter, mixing until all is combined and creamy.
- Serve immediately, topped with extra parmesan, fresh herbs and seasoning to your taste.
Recipe by Stefano Burlando, Words by Bronte Currie, Header Image by Tim White.