Notwithstanding the fact that a notorious Berkeley-based organization of garlic enthusiasts calls itself The Lovers of the Stinking Rose, garlic and its relatives of course aren’t roses at all, but Liliaceae—members of the lily family. Thus the rather poetic name of this dish, which uses six different members of the clan. The black sesame seeds, which have practically no discernible flavor when used in this modest quantity, constitute a rather sophomoric gastro-literary joke, best appreciated by admirers of John Ruskin.
Rub whole garlic head well with a bit of oil, wrap tightly in aluminum foil, and
Heat a spoonful of olive oil in a medium-sized skillet. Sauté pearl onions over low heat, stirring occasionally, and allow them to cook until they are added to the risotto.
At the same time, melt butter with a few drops of oil in a large, high-sided skillet, then sauté shallots and leeks over very low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
While shallots and leeks are cooking, bring stock to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
When garlic is cooked, slice off the top of the head, and squeeze garlic against a cutting board with the blade of a knife to extrude purée. Set aside.
Add raw rice to shallots and leeks, stir well until all grains are coated with butter and oil, and continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes. Add about 1 cup of stock to rice and continue stirring until it is almost completely absorbed. Continue this process until rice is almost cooked and there is only about
Stir cheese, scallions, pearl onions, garlic purée, and a little of the remaining stock into the rice, season to taste, and continue cooking until risotto is thick and creamy but not overcooked or mushy.
Serve absolutely immediately in individual shallow bowls, with chives and sesame seeds scattered atop each serving.*
© 1992 Colman Andrews. All rights reserved.