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This is a really good way to use Jerusalem artichokes without all the fuss of having to peel them first. Many restaurants peel them and then put them into acidulated water to stop them going brown, but this just results in lemon-flavoured artichokes and a horrible, sour purée when they’re cooked. It’s no good having a beautiful white colour to the purée but no taste. With this recipe, the purée will be slightly off-white but it will have a lovely, intense flavour. When you stir it into the risotto, it adds a real earthiness. I offset the richness of the risotto and scallops with a drizzle of sweet sherry caramel
- Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a pan, add the rice, and stir for 2-3 minutes so the rice absorbs the oil. Add the stock a little at a time, stirring constantly, until it has all been absorbed and the rice is cooked - around 25-30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the artichokes in 3 1/2 tablespoons of the butter until soft. Add the cream. Reduce down until the cream has almost evaporated and the artichokes are velvety in texture, stirring every now and then to make sure it’s not catching on the bottom of the pan. Purée in a food processor. Mix the artichoke purée into the rice and add the remaining 3 1/2 tablespoons of butter and the parmesan. Check for seasoning.
- Slice each scallop into three pieces and sauté in hot oil for 1 minute on each side until they’re medium-rare. Place on top of the risotto. In a heavy-based pan, heat the sugar until it’s a dark golden colour. Carefully add the sherry vinegar and reduce until you have a thick syrup. Drizzle this over the risotto, and serve.