I guess I didn't need at all to be nostalgic about spring in Copenhagen, because the weather has been so - how can I put it diplomatically? - dreary that I might as well be there.
For the last three days, it's been raining pretty consistently. This has disrupted some of my spring funtime plans like swimming in the ocean and making art outside but, at the same time, has been conducive to other worthy activities: working in the press (designing my title page), reading (I never have enough time to), cooking with friends.
Last night, my friend Alessandro, who is from Italy, made strawberry risotto for a cozy dinner party of eight humans and one fuzzy dog. It was nothing I had ever heard of until he told me about it, and it was delicious. We ate the risotto steaming, slightly sweet and vaguely tangy, with a chunky green salad dressed simply with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. When the vinegar mingled with my risotto I was in taste bud heaven.
The risotto recipe is simple. Take an onion. Cut it in half, then slice it thinly so that when it cooks, the onion slices dissolve among the grains of rice. Sauté the onion in a generous amount (a few or several tablespoons) of olive oil in a big pot. When the onion is translucent, begin adding rice by the cupful. I'm guessing we made about four cups of rice - like I said, it was a dish for a lot of people. Stir the rice so it fries with the onion. After adding the first of the rice, add an equivalent amount of vegetable broth. Add more rice, stir, add more vegetable broth. Continue in this manner until all the rice you want to cook is in the pot. Add some cream if you don't have butter (as was our case). By now, the rice should be cooking up and getting soft. Add most of the strawberries and stir. Taste - does it need salt? It might be time for salt. Keep stirring. Just before the pot of rice is done, add the remainder of the strawberries - they'll keep their crunch in the midst of the softness of the rose-colored dish when it's served hot!