In this recipe we introduced 2 main ingredients: Conch Shell and Ice Plant. The conch shell is a very interesting shellfish in terms of taste and consistency and it varies a lot on the preparation you use. Conch has a hint of saltiness and unlike other seafood, it doesn’t have a fishy smell. Its texture is rubbery and soft when chewed. You can eat conch raw as sushi or salad, as well as in cooked in stews or pasta sauces. Crunchy, juicy and with a gentle marine-like salinity, the ice plant is surprisingly versatile as an ingredient. You can eat it raw – the fleshy leaves are great in salads, giving the dish a nice salty crispiness; or steep it in boiling water to make tea. The hardy vegetable retains its crunch even with heat, so feel free to use it in your stir-fries. As it is mainly made of water, the ice plant is low in calories. What it is high in, though are vitamins A, B and C, mineral salts, and isoflavones – a class of phytochemicals that help protect the body against breast cancer, menopausal symptoms, heart disease and osteoporosis. In short, the ice plant makes a great addition to any diet, whether you are health conscious or not.
Ingredients (2 Servings):
- 180g Riso Acquerello or Carnaroli or Vialone Nano
- 1 Conch
- Handful of Ice Plant
- 1 Spring Onion
- 5-6 Cherry Tomatoes
- 2 Carrots
- 1 Small Red Onion
- Extra-virgin Olive Oil
- Black Pepper
- Sea Salt
- Prepare a vegetable broth by boiling water in a pot and adding 5-6 cherry tomatoes, 2 carrots, 1 small red onion.
- Let it boil for 30mins. Once the broth is cool down, blend it with all the vegetables. As an alternative you can use a pre-prepared vegetable broth.
- De-shell the conch with a knife and a spoon. Once the body is out of the shell, wash it under water and scrap the black parts. Boil the conch for 3-5 mins, let it cool down and then slice it.
- Slice a spring onion and simmer it with extra-virgin olive oil in a large saucepan.
- Once the oil is warm and the spring onion starts to sizzle, add the rice and toast it for a couple of minutes.
- Pre-heat the vegetable broth in a saucepan and keep it at a medium heat.
- Start pouring small amounts of broth in the pan with the rice and continue stirring. Keep doing this for three quarters of the rice cooking time.
- Season with sea salt and black pepper.
- Add the sliced conch.
- Make sure you add the right amount of broth to make the risotto creamy (and not brothy or overcooked).
- Once the risotto is finally cooked, season it with ground black pepper and drizzle some extra-virgin olive oil and add the ice plant.