My inspiration for the recipe began with an amazing cheese course I had at a dinner party at my sister's house. Rosemary honey drizzled on sharp cheese on a gourmet cracker. Divine! I knew my recipe had to have a rosemary honey component (and lucky for me I had overwintered a rosemary plant from my garden.) Thyme honey, my alternate choice and made the same way, was also delicious. I also wanted to focus on local prairie ingredients...you can't find lemons or olive oil here so I didn't put any in my recipe! I love risotto and thought it a good way to bring the sharp cheese into the recipe. I don't like the constant stirring of the usually method so tried local grains baked instead. The oats are creamy and the barley still has slight bite so it is a great combination. A friend who was sampling my recipe stated, "the risotto was a real surprise, the star of the show." I choose pickerel because it is a local prairie fish, is quite mild, and blends nicely with the other flavours. Rainbow trout also works nicely. The carrots and parsnips were grown locally and the rosemary honey just brings out the flavours wonderfully. To serve: Scoop a generous portion of risotto onto plates. Place an array of vegetables to the side of risotto, then top with a half fillet of pickerel. Drizzle with remaining rosemary honey and garnish with sprig of parsley. Excellent with any British Columbia Meritage or Pinot Grigio Note: If you have any leftover risotto, it is delicious for breakfast with crispy bacon on the side!
- Portion size 6 servings
- Credits : Diane Ward
MethodMixed Grain Risotto:
Position rack in centre of oven and preheat to 400° F. Heat oil in large saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat.
Add the onion and pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add the oats, barley and bay leaf, and cook, stirring frequently, until just golden, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the warm broth slowly until well incorporated. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the pan and place in the oven. Bake for 50-60 minutes, stirring once halfway through, or the liquid is absorbed and the grains are soft and creamy. Have a taste! The oats will be quite creamy and the barley will still have a slight bite. Remove from oven.
Add the cheddar, half of the parsley, and pepper and stir well to incorporate. Let stand, covered, for at least 10-15 minutes or up to 30 minutes while you cook the vegetables and bake the fish.
Remember the handles are very hot so leave your pot holder on top to remind you! Just before serving stir in the remaining ¼ cup of parsley. While the risotto is baking, make the rosemary honey, cut the vegetables, and prepare the fish for roasting.
Stem the rosemary and chop coarsely. Add to saucepan along with honey and 2 tablespoons water. Over medium low heat , bring to a slow boil then take off heat. Let steep for 10 minutes.
Strain the honey. Reserve 2 tablespoon of honey for fish recipe and 3 tablespoons of honey for vegetable recipe.
Sautéed Root Vegetables:
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter and the oil over medium-high heat. Add vegetables and a pinch of salt, and toss to coat. Sauté, tossing frequently, until tender and starting to brown, about 8-10 minutes. (Reduce heat if vegetables are cooking too fast and starting to burn.) When tender, add 1 tablespoon butter and when melted, add reserved honey and chopped rosemary, scraping up the candied bits on the bottom of the pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, cover and let stand until ready to serve.
Lightly oil a baking sheet large enough to hold fish in a single layer. Season both sides of fish with salt and pepper and arrange in prepared pan. Rub both herbs on top of fish. Drizzle each fillet evenly with honey. Roast for 12-15 minutes until fish is opaque and flakes with a fork, and the honey is starting to turn golden. Remove fish from oven and serve.
Scoop a generous portion of risotto onto plates. Place an array of vegetables to the side of risotto, then top with a half fillet of pickerel. Drizzle with remaining rosemary honey and garnish with sprig of parsley.