I was really pleased with this variation on a risotto recipe that I had used before – the addition of lightly toasted cashew nuts not only adds bite to what for me can be a slightly untextured dish, but it gives it real depth of flavour that compliments the mushrooms well. I don’t know if it’s just the time of year, but this also felt like a very Christmassy dish too!
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
200g Arborio risotto rice
600ml good quality vegetable stock from bouillon
150g raw unsalted cashew nuts
200g chestnut button mushrooms
1 large red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 tsp dried basil
1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the onion and garlic and fry gently until the onion is soft.
2. Add the rice, cashews and mushrooms and stir continuously for two minutes to ensure the rice doesn’t stick.
3. Add the peppers and herbs and spices and stir well.
4. Add the remaining ingredients to the mixture, including the vegetable stock, bring to the boil and turn down to a low simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Season to taste and serve immediately with a side salad or fresh bread.