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Carrots have long been thought to benefit our sight, and specifically night vision, by virtue of their high Vitamin A content. This belief, which is true to a degree, was popularised during WWII in a propaganda campaign by the British. A new radar technology allowed the air force to hit their targets in darkness with greater accuracy. To keep the new technology under wraps, the British offered another reason for their success: carrots! Whether or not the Germans bought it, the public did, and believed that eating carrots would help them see in blackouts.
As the days get shorter and the nights seem darker, why not give this carrot-rich risotto a go?
Remember that risotto should have a pool of liquid surrounding it, and keep the rice firm to the bite.
Serves 4 – entree size
1 zucchini cut into chips ½ cup plain flour seasoned with salt and pepper 1 egg, beaten 1 cup panko breadcrumbs 1 tsp smoked paprika 1 Tbsp finely chopped herbs of your choice (we used thyme) 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese, finely grated salt and pepper 1 Tbsp olive oil
Heat oven to 200℃.
In three separate small bowls place the beaten egg, the flour and the breadcrumbs. Add seasoning, herbs and cheese to the breadcrumbs.
Dredge each chip in the flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs, making sure that all surfaces are covered.
Drizzle with oil and place on a lined baking tray.
Bake until crispy and golden. Approximately 20 minutes.
6 large carrots, peeled and diced 25g unsalted butter 2 Tbsp olive oil 1 large brown onion, peeled and finely diced 3 cups of chicken or vegetable stock 1 ¼ cups arborio rice ½ cup white wine 25g butter ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated (keep some for garnishing) 12 sage leaves, fried quickly until crisp 1 extra carrot, shaved into ribbons and fried until crisp
Make carrot puree, by boiling carrots in water until soft, draining and blitzing them This should make approximately 1½ cups of puree.
In a large pan heat the butter and oil on a medium heat, and sauté the onions until translucent.
In a separate pot, heat the stock and keep at a simmer.
Add the rice to the onion mix and stir until coated in oil.
Add the wine and continue to stir until all the liquid is evaporated.
Add the stock one ladle-full at a time, stirring continuously until most of the liquid has been incorporated and rice is al dente.
Stir in carrot puree, butter, and parmesan cheese. Stir briskly until creamy.
Season well with salt and pepper.
Garnish with the zucchini crisps, carrot ribbons and fried sage.