First course recipe ideas

Risotto di bruscandoli (Hop Shoots Risotto)

“Bruscandoli” are the end tips of the hop plants. This plant can be found easily in the Venetian countryside. This risotto can only be made during April since this is the time when the hop shoots. During the month of April the vegetable stalls of Rialto Bridge are full of these plants.

Bruscandoli or hop shoots

Bruscandoli or hop shoots

This is a very old recipe from the Venetian countryside (feel free to substitute the shoots with any other sort of root or shoot you like). It is one of the best first course recipe ideas which will please the whole family.

Ingredients: a big bunch of bruscandoli (hop shoots) about 300 gr,

300 gr. Rice Vialone Nano or Arborio,

½ an onion,

a glass of dry white wine,

1 lt. vegetable Broth,

a bit of butter, olive oil.

First of all rinse and chop in small pieces the hop shoots. Then sauté for few minutes in a large pan with a little bit of oil. Remove from eat.

Cooked bruscandoli

Cooked bruscandoli

Now place the butter in a sauce pan and melt it. Add the rice, toast it ror a minute until it becomes translucent, add the glass of wine and let evaporate. Add the shoots and a bit of the broth. Stir and slowly start adding the broth waiting every time for it to be absorbed by the rice. Keep stirring the rice until it is cooked through. Turn the heat off, add a little bit of butter and a good spoonful of parmisan. Cover with a dry cloth and the lid. Allow to rest for 5 minutes (the cloth will trap the steam and give you a nice glossy rice).

Risotto di bruscandoli

Risotto di bruscandoli

Serve hot. This risotto must not be dry, but at the contrary quite smooth.