No meat required!

Waterblommetjies! A type of water lily ( Aponogeton distachyos ) that can be found growing on every farm dam in the area. Their season starts in spring and lasts for a couple of weeks. Many of our locals and even our International visitors know them only cooked together in a stew with lamb (and always served with white rice!); like that they have a very similar taste to green beans. It is one of the most well known traditional South African dishes. So here we go…

1 Onion, finely chopped
2 Cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
100ml White wine
2L Chicken or vegetable stock
500g Risotto Rice
250g Waterblommetjies
100g Butter
100g Cream cheese, black pepper flavour

Place the waterblommetjies in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt and cover with water. Let it stand for a half an hour. Rinse them a few times and strain well.

Blanche the waterblommetjies. Spoon them out with a slotted spoon. Keep one for each portion as garnish and roughly chop the rest.

Heat a third of the butter in a heavy bottom pan and fry the onions slowly till they are transparent.Add the rice and stir till all the grains are pearly and covered with oil. Add the wine and stir till all the liquid is absorbed. Add about half of the stock and stir occasionally. When the liquid has been absorbed, add ladle by ladle of the stock and keep stirring.

When the rice is just cooked, add the waterblommetjies and stir in lightly, remove from the heat, stir in blocks of cold butter  and then  the cream cheese.  Spoon into bowls, place a whole waterblommetjie in the centre and drizzle with avo oil (optional).

TIP: serve it as a side dish to leg of lamb or lamb knuckle cooked in  red wine.


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