I love markets. I especially love springtime farmers’ markets – something that has been lacking in my life since I moved back to Southern Alberta. While there are plenty of bakers, canners and meat producers who have things to sell in the winter, the Lethbridge market closes between October and May due to a perceived lack of shoppers. No fresh produce seems to equal no market in these parts.
When I got out to Vancouver, I spent an afternoon at the Granville Public Market, shopping for ingredients for a “thank you” supper for my sister and her boy. After a preliminary cruise around the stalls, I settled on a nice springtime risotto with seafood to reflect my stay in the city. Dinner was preceded by an appetizer board featuring olives, cheese, beer sausage, bread, fiddleheads and smoked mackerel from various stalls around the market.
(the following is the risotto recipe for 3 people)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 cup Arborio rice
3 cloves garlic, crushed and thinly sliced
1 cup white wine
3 cups vegetable stock
1 handful broccolini, tops separated from stems
1 handful asparagus, tops separated from stems
3 tbsp fresh basil, thinly sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
9 scallops, patted dry
6 spot prawns, rinsed and patted dry
In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the butter in the olive oil until it melts.
Add the rice and stir until it toasts and turns a light brown.
Add the garlic and cook until soft but not browned.
Pour in the white wine, stirring until absorbed.
Add the first cup of vegetable stock, stirring slowly while it absorbs.
Stir the vegetable stems into the rice with with the second cup of stock.
At this point, heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan, and arrange the seafood in a single layer.
Add the veggie tops and basil to the risotto with the last cup of stock, stirring while keeping an eye on the seafood.
Turn the seafood once after 2-3 minutes – that’s all it should take per side to get a nice sear on the scallops and to make sure the prawns are cooked through but not rubbery.
Plate everything up and serve with the rest of the bottle of white wine. (I think we went with a bottle of Naked Grape Pinot Grigio.)