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Risotto Primavera

I got home late and hungry the other night after my toastmasters meeting. I normally pack a salad or leftovers, but I didn’t have time that day so I arrived home famished. I don’t usually like to eat so late in the day but it had been a long time since lunch and my rumbling tummy wasn’t going to let me sleep.

A quick glance at my fridge revealed a couple of leeks, courgettes and a big bag of peas in their pods. Hmmm, what to make?

Alun cracked open a bottle of cava for us to enjoy as we shelled peas and mulled over what to do with these spring vegetables. It was so relaxing sitting together popping the beautiful peas out of their pods and catching up on the day’s news. What might otherwise seem like a chore provided a perfect opportunity to relax and unwind before cooking.

I’m a firm believer that cooking should be fun. Relaxing and enjoying the process makes the food taste better, gets the creative juices flowing and on this occasion inspired me to craft this delicate creamy risotto. I have to admit that this is possibly the best risotto I’ve ever had, if I do say so myself. Best of all, it’s dead quick and easy to make, plus it only uses one pan so there’s hardly any washing up. Perfect for a simple supper after a long day.

This recipe makes enough for 4 servings, we had the risotto for lunch the following day and it was even more delicious!

Ingredients

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 small leeks

2 cloves of garlic

2 courgettes

2 cups shelled peas (frozen is fine too)

1 cup arborio rice

3 cups vegetable stock, preferably organic

Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast to sprinkle on top

Technique

First off put the kettle on to boil water for your stock if you’re using powdered stock.

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, then add the finely chopped the leeks. I shredded the leeks in my food processor. Yes, I could have easily done it by hand, but it was late and I was hungry.

While the leeks are sweating chop and then add the garlic to the leeks.

Once the leeks are soft and tender (approx 5 minutes) add the rice, the fry for a minute stirring to ensure that all the grains are coated and start becoming translucent.

Now add a ladle of hot stock and a pinch of salt. Turn down the heat to a fairly high simmer. Keep adding ladlefuls of stock, stirring constantly to stop the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan and allowing each ladleful to be absorbed completely before adding the next.

Add the peas and courgette once you’re on your last ladle of stock. As an aside, I grated the courgette in the food processor too, it took seconds! The rice is ready once it is soft but still has a slight bite, you may need to add more stock/water depending on your pot and the rice you use.

Taste and season with salt and pepper, a squeeze of lemon juice would also work well. Serve whilst it’s still hot.

Garnish with parmesan or nutritional yeast. I prefer the latter because it’s dairy free and is a great source of protein and vitamins, especially the B-complex vitamins such as B12 which is difficult to obtain in plant based diets.

 

 

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