This is delicate, summery and delicious. You may like to add a shower of fresh herbs at the end. Have the butter and cream at room temperature.
Shell and devein the prawns, discarding the heads and reserving the shells. Make the vegetable broth, adding the prawn shells to the pot with the vegetables. Keep hot.
Meanwhile, put a non-stick frying pan over high heat with half the remaining butter and when it’s hot, add the prawns. Sauté until they are opaque and a bit golden on both sides. Add 1 teaspoon of the lemon rind with a little salt and pepper and toss together. Add the brandy and stand well back as if it flames up it can be very exaggerated. Let it evaporate, then turn off the heat.
Add the cream and the last of the butter to the risotto. Turn through to finish, or mantecare as they say in Italy. Scrape in the prawns and the other teaspoon of lemon rind and heat through just for a couple of minutes to amalgamate all the flavours. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add extra hot water or broth if the risotto is too stiff. Remove the lavender and serve at once, with some fresh lavender sprigs on top. Give a good grinding of black pepper and scatter with parmesan, if you wish.
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