Mojito sorbet

Mojito Sorbet

I first made this back in March, when my thoughts had turned to spring, and in turn summer. The recipe was born both from a love of mojitos and the desire to have a few recipe ideas up my sleeve for summer entertaining in our new home. (I’ve just realised how ridiculously middle class the phrase ‘summer entertaining’ sounds – I am evidently a closet Hyacinth Bucket.)

However, the Great British Climate had other ideas as usual, and we spent most of March freezing cold, with it snowing on several occasions throughout the month. Although this meant that sorbet was a little inappropriate for the time of year, I still enjoyed eating this – sneaking spoonfuls of it from the freezer whenever I was in the kitchen.

Thankfully, I’m finally now able to post this recipe in honour of the SCORCHIO weather we’ve been having lately. We knew it’d get here eventually…

Ingredients

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 80g granulated brown demerara sugar (plus 20g more to stir in at the end)
  • 200ml water
  • Zest and juice of 4 limes
  • 3 teaspoonfuls of white rum (optional)
  • 8g fresh mint leaves

Gently heat the caster sugar, brown sugar and water together in a saucepan, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Remove the syrup from the heat and pour it into a Pyrex or other heatproof jug. Stir in the lime zest and juice and the white rum. Cover and leave in the fridge until chilled.

Once the syrup is chilled, add it into an ice cream machine and churn according to the instructions.

Once the sorbet is churned, finely chop the mint leaves and fold them into the mixture along with the remaining 20g of brown sugar. I add the extra sugar at the end like this as I like the ‘crunch’ of brown sugar in a mojito. Transfer the mixture to a tub and put it in the freezer for at least 12 hours before serving.

By the way, I realise this isn’t a great picture – Food photography seems to be a skill I am yet to master. It tastes really nice though – honest!

Summersotto

I’m very fond of risotto. It’s quick and easy to make and versatile too. I especially enjoy it in the depths of winter, when you need something comforting and stodgy to shovel down and make you feel all cosy. However, I recently made this ‘Summersotto’ when the weather was a bit warmer, as I wanted a risotto that was light and summery (despite this being a bit of a contradiction in terms). I didn’t really want to call it ‘Summersotto’, by the way- it sounds like the sort of thing Nigella would come up with (although my unconditional love for her still stands). I purposefully wrote down ‘Summer Risotto’ when I noted down the recipe, but the word ‘Summersotto’ crept back in and now I’m stuck with it. Sorry about that.

One thing I will say about risotto is that it’s important to be prepared. I’m not usually the sort of person who gets all my ingredients set up in bowls, Delia style, before I start. I make an exception for risotto though- it only takes a few minutes to get everything ready and it ensures you can give it your all for the eighteen minutes of stirring that follows (let’s call it twenty- risotto recipes are always so precise about that magic number of eighteen minutes but who’s really counting?)

Ingredients

  • A knob of butter
  • Olive oil
  • An onion, chopped
  • 165g risotto rice (150g would be enough for two, but I buy risotto rice in 500g packets and use a third per risotto)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • White wine
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • 100g frozen broad beans
  • 100g frozen peas
  • A small courgette, grated
  • Zest of a lemon
  • Fresh mint, chopped
  • Fresh thyme, chopped
  • 100g feta, chopped into small cubes
  • Parmesan (optional)

Get all your ingredients ready. Put a small pan of water on to boil and in a separate, larger pan, melt the butter. Add a glug of olive oil and then add the onion. Cook the onion until it’s turning translucent and add the risotto rice. Stir to coat everything in butter and oil, then add the garlic and cook for a minute or so. Turn the heat up a bit higher and add a generous glug of white wine and the lemon juice. Allow the booze to cook off a bit.

Begin to add your vegetable stock a ladleful at a time, allowing it to be absorbed before adding the next one- you know what to do. Keep stirring as you go. When you’ve used about half of your stock, add the broad beans and peas to the smaller pan of boiling water. Cover and allow to simmer.

When you’ve used up all your stock, test a couple of grains of rice to see if they’re cooked. If not, add a bit more stock or boiling water and keep stirring for a couple more minutes.

Turn off the heat and stir through the grated courgette, lemon zest and herbs. Drain and add the beans and peas.

Divide into bowls and sprinkle the feta over the top. Add some parmesan too, if you fancy.

Serves two.