In January and February there came an abundance of intoxicating blue and violet flowers amongst the fields around Porto Palo di Menfi, outrageously alluring, I understood, that this plant, had yet again, befriended me. Borage, which everyone should know is synonymous with courage. I am always interested to find uses for plants and here in Sicily, there is still a beautiful tradition of foraging for spring greens and cleansing after the winter (which by the way did not exist this year in Sicily). Borage is a plant with many health benefiting properties, a bit of research and common sense will tell you this, or the plant itself, whatever your best communication medium. Therefore, one sunny day I collected an abundance of tender flowering stems with the idea of making a Risotto, which I’d heard rumours of before but never had the privilege of trying myself.
I collected basically a carrier bag of tender stems then I left them in water for a short time, I cleaned them three times, within the three times involves using fresh water again. Then I boiled the Borage for a few minutes, less than 5 I believe. After boiling I removed the Borage from the water and then cut roughly (once cooled a little unless you have grandma’s asbestos hands). Following this I sautéed an onion added brown rice and coated it with olive oil. I brought the stock from boiling the Borage back to boil, salted it and then added the required amount to cook the rice well, after this I stirred in the Borage in stages and then left it to cook until the rice was nearly tender. I added a knob of butter for good measure and sprinkled with Borage flowers to serve. Parmigiano or Pecorino is a good accompaniment if you are so inclined, but the flavour of the Risotto is delicate and is well appreciated in its simplicity.
Thanks Bintu for tips from your recipe!