Tag Archives: risotto

Recipe of the Week – 7th May 2017 – Pea and Asparagus Risotto


I have recently come back from a trip to see my family in East Anglia, and a bonus to going at this time of year is that it’s asparagus season – there’s something about going to remote farms and buying bunches of the stuff that I love. This is a nice straightforward recipe that really brings out the best in the flavour of asparagus and complements it well with the subtle herbs and flavour of the rice – real comfort food!

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

1 large bunch of fresh tender asparagus, roughly chopped, retaining 6 stems whole for decoration

2 medium white onions, finely chopped

4 tbs extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

250g Arborio risotto rice

100g frozen peas

100ml white wine

750ml good quality vegetable stock from bouillon

1 tbs dried mint

1tbs dried marjoram 

20g vegetarian Parmesan style hard cheese, grated (optional if vegan)

Salt and pepper to taste 

Method

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion and garlic and fry gently until the onion is soft, ensuring it doesn’t brown.

2. Add the asparagus pieces and rice and stir continuously for two minutes to ensure the rice doesn’t stick and is coated evenly with the oil.

3. Add the herbs, vegetable stock and wine, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes, stirring regularly.

4. Add the frozen peas and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, in a griddle pan gently fry the whole asparagus stems in a little water until tender and set aside.

6. Season the risotto to taste, top with the whole asparagus stems and grated cheese if using, and serve immediately with a side salad or toast.

Recipe of the Week – 14th March 2016 – Cashew and Red Pepper Risotto

  
There are countless variations and experiments that can be had with the basic traditional risotto recipe, and I think that the addition of nuts really adds a lot of extra flavour and much-needed texture. I really like the roasted peppers in this too.

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 medium white onions, finely chopped

4 tbs extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

250g Arborio risotto rice

200g raw unsalted cashew nuts

100ml white wine

650ml good quality vegetable stock from bouillon

2 large red peppers, deseeded and finely sliced or chopped

1 tbs dried basil 

20g vegetarian Parmesan style hard cheese, grated (optional if vegan)

Salt and pepper to taste 

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Place the red pepper slices on a large baking tray, drizzle with 1 tbs of the olive oil, season, and roast for 15 minutes.

2. Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan and add the onion and garlic and fry gently until the onion is soft.

3. Add the rice, cashews and roasted pepper slices and stir continuously for two minutes to ensure the rice doesn’t stick.

4. Add the basil, vegetable stock and wine, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for 25 minutes, stirring regularly.

5. Season to taste, top with the grated cheese, and serve immediately with a side salad or toast.

Recipe of the Week – 21st December 2015 – Mushroom and Cashew Nut Risotto

 
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!

Serves 6

Ingredients

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 

Method

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.

Recipe of the Week – 7th September 2015 – Courgette and Mushroom Risotto

  
I really enjoy making risottos – there’s something satisfying about stirring something dry until it changes in texture to become something completely different! The end result of a creamy, savoury rice dish is always worth the effort too. I made this one using some allotment grown courgettes that were kindly gifted to the cafe and are both the yellow and green type, which gave a nice bit of colour variation.

Serves 6

Ingredients

400g risotto rice

2 large onions, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

5 tbs olive oil

30g butter

3 large courgettes

100g mushrooms, sliced

100g frozen peas

2 tsp dried tarragon

2 tsp Herbes de Provence

1000ml good quality vegetable stock

200ml white wine

Freshly grated vegetarian Parmesan type cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

1. In a large saucepan fry the butter and olive oil until foaming then add the onion and garlic and gently fry for 5 minutes.

2. Roughly grate one of the courgettes and stir it into the onion mixture. Fry for a further 5 minutes before roughly chopping the remaining courgettes and adding them to the mixture with the mushrooms.

3. Add the rice and stir well to coat thoroughly. Add the wine and simmer to reduce for 5 minutes before adding the herbs.

4. Add the stock a small amount at a time whilst continuously stirring until most of the stock has been absorbed. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

5. Add the frozen peas, cover and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

6. Season then serve immediately. Top with the cheese and a sprinkling of extra virgin olive oil. Serve with toasted bread and a green salad.

Recipe of the Week – 1st June 2015 – Carrot and Celery Risotto

  
I enjoyed experimentIng with the basic risotto recipe to provide something a little more interesting, and slightly more healthy. The combination of carrot and celery works well together, and is similar to one of my previous pilaf recipes, but this is much more filling! I added vegetarian Parmesan to this at the end originally, but it is just as good if you omit it to make it vegan.

Serves 6

Ingredients

4 tbs olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 litre of good quality vegetable stock from bouillon

500g Arborio risotto rice

½ head celery, finely chopped

3 large carrots, peeled and grated

1 tsp dried tarragon

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

1. In a large frying pan add the olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic very gently for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the chopped celery and sauté for a further 3 minutes.

2. Add the rice to the pan, ensuring all of the grains are coated in the oil. Fry for a further 2 minutes.

3. Add the tarragon then half the stock, a ladle full at a time, stirring until each is absorbed. Add the remaining stock, cover and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Season to taste.

4. Add the grated carrot, and stir to combine.

5. Serve immediately with toasted bread and grilled asparagus, if desired.









Recipe of the Week – 2nd February 2015 – Butternut Squash Risotto

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The winter months here definitely sometimes call for something substantial and filling to keep the cold out, and they don’t come much more filling than this! The combination of the butternut squash and the gooey rice provides a very satisfying main course, but also works well as a side for a salad.

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 large butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2 cm dice
5 tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper to season
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
400g Arborio risotto rice
800ml good quality vegetable stock
200ml white wine (optional)
200g frozen peas
1 tbs Herbes de Provence
1 tsp dried oregano
3 tbs grated vegetarian Parmesan cheese (optional)

Method

1. Heat the oven to 220C. Place the butternut squash cubes in a large roasting tin and drizzle with 3 tbs olive oil. Season then roast for 25 minutes.

2. Meanwhile add the remaining oil to a large saucepan and gently sauté the onions and garlic for 5 minutes until soft. Add the rice and sauté for a further minute before slowly adding half the stock (and wine if using), stirring regularly.

3. When the stock has been absorbed add the remaining stock, the herbs, peas and roasted squash. Continue stirring for a further 10 – 15 minutes until absorbed.

4. Take off the heat, season well and stir in the grated cheese if using.

5. Serve immediately with bread and a green salad.

Recipe of the Week – 29th September 2014 – Mushroom and Roasted Pepper Risotto

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This variation on the traditional risotto recipe makes a really satisfying and filling meal and seems to avoid the pitfall of every mouthful being the same which can beset some risottos. The roasted peppers really bring out a nice twist and makes this a great favourite.

Serves 6

Ingredients

150g fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 red peppers, deseeded and sliced
300ml good quality vegetable stock from boullion
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
300g risotto rice, such as arborio
1 x 175ml glass white wine
150g frozen peas
25g butter
handful parsley leaves, chopped
50g vegetarian parmesan freshly grated

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 220C and place the sliced peppers on a large baking tray. Drizzle with 2 tbs olive oil, season and mix well. Roast for 20 mins.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a deep frying pan, add the onions and garlic, then fry for about 8 mins until soft. Stir in the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and continue to cook for a further 8 mins until softened.

3. Add the roasted peppers then add the rice into the pan and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine until it bubbles then pour in approximately 1/4 of the stock. Simmer, stirring often until the rice has absorbed all the liquid. Add another 1/4 of the stock and repeat until all has been absorbed. Add the frozen peas and continue stirring for a further 5 minutes.

4. When cooked and soft, remove the pan from the heat, add the butter and scatter over the cheese and the parsley. Serve immediately with toast and a green salad.