Author Notes: Every summer I have to make this at least once when I come home with the luxury of an entire basil plant from the St. Jacob farmer’s market. When my mother visits from Vancouver, she also brings me line caught halibut which we order every year from our fish monger before the season begins. So, without fail the two always end up together on the same plate, but the risotto in and of itself with the sweet rich coconut and gloriously verdant basil is more than enough to define the peak of my summer. —Coco et Cocoa
tablespoons Coconut oil
cup Finely diced white onion
cups Short grain rice, like carnaroli or arborio
tablespoons Green curry paste, depending on how much heat you like
Can unpasteurized, full fat coconut milk
cup Gently packed fresh basil leaves, plus a few extra for frying
Juice of half a lime
Sea salt, to taste
cups Unsalted vegetable or chicken stock
- melt the coconut oil in a deep saucepan or small pot. Add the onions and sweat them until soft, being careful not to brown them. Tip in the rice and stir until the grains are evenly coated with oil and become translucent.
- Stir in the curry paste until fragrant.
- Pour in 1 cup of stock and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Continue to add stock, 1 cup at a time, still stirring and keeping the heat low for about 15~18 minutes.
- Meanwhile, puree the fatty portion of the coconut milk with the basil and lime juice to a vibrant green milk shake. Chill until needed. Stir the remaining watery portion of the coconut milk into the rice.
- Once all the stock has been absorbed, taste your risotto and see if you like the doneness. It should be very creamy, but still retaining a bit of nutty texture in the center of each grain.
- Incorporate the coconut basil mixture and take away from the heat, and season. Spoon onto warmed plates and top with a few leaves of fried basil.
- Note: To fry the basil, lower basil leaves into hot oil – be careful, they will sputter. Fry each batch for 5-10 seconds without crowding the pan, until crispy and bright green. Drain on paper towel.
Photo by Coco et Cocoa