HOW ELSE to explain WHY I stock up on fruits with great enthusiasm but can’t seem to gather the will anywhere close to eat them later on…? I had great aspirations for these raspberries and grapefruits when I bought them. I had a very scenic image in mind where I sat by a sun-drenched window and snack on a cold, crispy summer fruit salad while sipping on iced tea. That had to be my alter ego at work. Because THAT. Was 6 days ago. Grapefuit… still neglected on the kitchen counter like a lost child. Raspberries… almost shriveling away in the fridge. And I stared at them with a sense of great defeat. What the hell was I thinking…?
When have I EVER liked grapefruits? When have I EVER liked raspberries… The last time I had raspberry was… I DON’T REMEMBER! So WHAT the hell were they doing in my home? At this point it was wise to assume, that particular summer fruit salad by itself was not happening. At this point I had to stop pretending that these tart and bitter things were going to be consumed without help from OTHER things that’s sweet, creamy and rich. And while we were at it, something chilled and cool that would take off the summer heat. And for convenience sake, something needless to travel to the grocer just down stair. Something like… a cold, creamy, vanilla rice risotto. “Hey! Harmony, even you can’t say no to that.”
Sweet risotto? Why the hell not? Giada has done it. And I’ll prove that these can taste great even without her cleavage. Sweet rice risotto reminds me of a common dessert porridge in Asia that’s eaten cold in the summer, and hot in the winter. Served by considerate, smart and brilliant restaurant owners as complementary desserts at the end of the meal, and they are almost always made with sticky rice. It sounds stupid to state the obvious that sticky rice is indeed… stickier than normal rice, because like arborio, it’s much more starchy than others. But it’s really more valued for its unique chewiness that makes it the base ingredient for Asian rice cakes. It can be found in all major Asian market. If sticky rice isn’t available, then arborio rice is perfectly fine.
It goes without saying that any random fruits neglected in the fridge can pretty much be on here. It’s a refugee camp for the neglected and unwanted. I’m sorry but Raspberry – you’re awfully cute but why do you have to be so tart? And Grapefruits – you ain’t so bad-looking yourself but what’s with the bitterness? But surprisingly that tartness and bitterness tastes kind of… nice with the creamy, sweet, cold risotto! …Refreshing. Yes. That’s the word. Oh I’m gonna pat myself on the back for completing TWO daily intakes of fruits and dairy all in one bowl! Maybe Harmony and I can be in agreement from time to time…
Servings: 1 ~ 2
- 1/2 cup of sticky rice or Arborio rice
- 2 1/2 cup of whole milk + a little more to pour on top of the fruit
- 3 tbsp of sugar
- 3 lemon peels
- 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
- 1 grapefruit
- 1/2 cup of raspberries
- Some honey to drizzle
Put the sticky rice in a sieve and rinse under cold water to clean. Combine the sticky rice, milk, sugar and lemon peels in a sauce pot. Set on low heat and simmer. Occasional stirring is needed otherwise the rice will stick to the bottom of the pot and burn. AND every time I set milk over the stove, it boils over in a blink of an eye… seriously… I swear I just walked away for a second… SO KEEP AN EYE ON IT.
Keep simmering until the rice is cooked through but NOT MUSHY. If the center of the rice is still mostly opaque, then it’s not done yet. But if it’s completely translucent, then it’s overcooked. This should take around 20 ~ 25 min. When the rice is done, turn off the heat and pick out the lemon peel. Stir in the vanilla extract to evenly combine then chill in the fridge until cold. This is NOT something to be done the day before. The perfect timing to enjoy this is when the risotto is JUST chilled through and cold. The risotto will get too thick and dense if it’s left in the fridge overnight.
To prepare the grapefruit segments: Cut off the head and bottom of the grapefruit, then curve the knife to slice the skin off along the flesh. Now every segments of the grapefruit should be very obvious. Use a sharp knife to cut out the flesh of the grapefruit in between every segments, as close to the membrane as possible. Chill both the grapefruit segments and raspberries in the fridge.
When the risotto is cold, top it with the grapefruits and raspberries. Add a little bit more milk and drizzle over some honey. Mmm… perfect summer dessert.