Risotto Of Lobster With Vanilla And Truffle

40ml olive oil
80g unsalted butter
½ brown onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
250g arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
1 litre fish stock
1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
sea salt and ground white pepper, to taste
2 uncooked small lobster tails in shell (400g)
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways
1 tablespoon truffle oil
1 bunch asparagus, thinly sliced lengthways
1 bunch chives, thinly sliced, to garnish

If lobster is unavailable, try substituting with 300g of uncooked, peeled prawns.

Risotto requires constant attention, so make sure you have all your ingredients ready and prepared before making this dish.

To speed up the cooking process of risotto, ensure your stock or cooking liquid is hot. This will allow the rice to absorb it quicker.

Leftover risotto? No problem – remove stalks from field mushrooms and chop finely. Stir chopped stalks and a little cream or milk into risotto (it goes thick once cold) and spoon into mushroom cavities. Brush with olive oil and cook in a moderate oven (180C) for about 20 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and filling is hot.

  1. Poach the lobster tails in salted boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Remove and cool slightly. Carefully remove all the shell. Cut the tail meat into 1/2cm thick slices.
  2. To prepare the risotto, heat a large heavy based saucepan to moderately hot. Add the oil and 50 grams of the butter then add the onion and garlic and allow to soften and become translucent. Add the rice and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the white wine and cook until almost evaporated. Add 1 cup of the stock. Cook, stirring, over a low heat. Continue adding stock in 1 cup batches, stirring, until stock is absorbed after each addition. Remove pan from heat and stir in nuts. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Just before the risotto is ready, brown remaining butter with vanilla bean and truffle oil in a heavy based saucepan. Add the lobster meat. Cook, stirring, over a medium heat until just heated through.
  5. Blanch the asparagus in boiling salted water. Drain. Arrange four pieces of asparagus on four plates to create a square border. Spoon risotto in centre and top with a generous amount of lobster and sauce. Garnish with chives.