YIELD: 6 servings
½ cup figs, dried, raw
4 oz. Marsala wine
½ cup almonds, dried, blanched
2 Tbsps. olive oil
3 Tbsps. shallots, peeled, raw
2 cups Arborio rice
4 cups vegetable broth
4 oz. Sauvignon Blanc wine
¼ cup feta cheese
4 Tbsps. butter, unsalted
Place figs and Marsala wine in small sauce pot and simmer briefly for 3-4 minutes. Let cool and cut the figs into small dice.
Put the almonds on a baking tray and place in a pre-heated 325°F oven for approximately 5-6 minutes or until the almonds are lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool; coarsely chop the almonds.
Heat a large sauce pot over medium heat, add the 2 Tbsps. of olive oil and the 3 Tbsps. minced shallot, sauté the shallots briefly without browning them — about 1 minute.
Add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon, evenly coating the rice. Add the white wine and while stirring, reduce wine by half. Add 1 ⅓ cup broth and continue to cook, stirring frequently. When the liquid is almost absorbed into the rice, add an additional 1 ⅓ cup broth and repeat previous step. Add the last 1 ⅓ cup of broth, again repeating the process, cooking until the broth is absorbed and the rice al dente. Add additional liquid if necessary.
Add the almonds, figs, feta cheese and butter to the risotto, season to taste with salt and black pepper. Garnish with additional chopped almonds, grated feta and drizzle with olive oil.
Photo: Almond Board of California recipe: Chef Kevin Isacsson, Cal Tech