Borage Risotto

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.

The Risotto

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!


borage risotto