I don't know what's in season where you live, but where I live it's sweet potatoes.
I Heart Cooking Clubs is cooking what's In Season. I chose Donna Hay's Bacon, Sweet Potato, & Sage Baked Risotto.
Bacon's always in season at my house. But it's the sweet potatoes I was really thinking about.
When I drive through town, local farmers with still-dirty hands sit on open tailgates along the roads. Sacks of sweet potatoes laid like bricks in the backs of pickup trucks. Freshly dug from the field.
$5.00 a sack the handwritten sign says.
An old, rough, dusty hand waves. An old, rough, dusty face smiles.
Good old-fashioned marketing.
Review: As usual Donna Hay has an easy recipe. This is time consuming, but most of the time spent is hands off. Instead of standing at the stove, stirring and stirring, and stirring some more, Donna Hay's risotto is baked in the oven. I can appreciate the idea...use the oven, go do something else. But much like making roux, I like making risotto because of the constant stirring.
I roasted the sweet potatoes the day before and reheated them before stirring into the risotto. I also used bacon--the original recipe uses pancetta. Instead of frying the sage in butter, I just tossed the leaves into the bacon drippings instead of dirtying another pan.
The mixture of sweet potatoes, sage, and smoky bacon came together in a dish perfect for Fall.
More "In Season" Donna Hay recipes can be found at IHCC.
Donna Hay's Original Recipe
Bacon, Sweet Potato and Sage Baked Risotto
1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1" cubes
5 slices bacon, divided
¼ cup small sage leaves
1 ½ cup arborio rice
4 ½ cups chicken stock
salt and black pepper to taste
1 ¼ cup finely grated parmesan, divided
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Add the sweet potatoes to a baking pan and toss with enough olive oil to coat. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until tender. *The sweet potatoes can be roasted the day before. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Heat before using in the recipe.*
Stir the rice and chicken stock together in a 13 x 9 baking dish. Cover with foil and bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed the liquid and is al dente.
While the risotto bakes, heat a skillet over medium heat. Fry the bacon until crispy. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Crumble when cool enough to handle, reserving one slice for garnish.
Lower the heat to medium low. Add the sage leaves to the bacon drippings and fry for a minute or so--until crispy. Set on paper towels to drain.
When the risotto is done, season with salt and pepper. Stir in 1 cup parmesan, sweet potatoes, and bacon. Scatter the crispy sage, reserved bacon, and 1/4 cup Parmesan over the top. Serves 4.