Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Green Vegetable Risotto


This is only the second evening meal I've made in the vegetarian challenge week, as the Minestrone alla Milanese I made lasted for two days. This is making the challenge a little easier as now I've only got three more dishes to go. I must say that the minestrone doesn't last well, the flavours are fine and actually improve, but the vegetables and pasta were too soft due the amount of time being left in liquid.

Today I am making green vegetable risotto, another healthy dish, because there is not that much parmesan in it. Like all risottos, it's time consuming, due the constant attention it needs and you do need a good stirring arm. It is worth it, because it's very creamy without all the fat. Another great thing about this dish, even though the vegetables are cooked for a long time, they neither lose their colour or crunch. This serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main course.

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated vegetarian parmesan
  • black pepper to season
  • 1 leek sliced
  • 1 courgette sliced
  • 100g broccoli broken into small florets
  • handful of basil leaves
  • 150g risotto rice (arborio is good)
  • 600ml good quality vegetable stock (approx)
  • 100g young spinach leaves
  • handful of rocket leaves chopped
  • handful of watercress chopped

Put the basil, half the oil, pine nuts and parmesan into a blender and whizz to make a pesto and put to one side.

Boil a pot of water and put the courgette, leek and broccoli in for about a minute to blanch and then drain well.

Put the stock on the hob to simmer. Add the other half of the oil into a pan and heat, add in the risotto rice and stir until it is evenly coated in the oil.

Pour in a quarter of the hot stock and add the blanched vegetables stirring continuously until all the liquid has been absorbed. Then add another ladle of the stock, again stirring continuously until it's absorbed. Continue this until all the stock has gone or the rice is cooked (the rice should have a little bit of a bite)- this can take between 20-30 minutes

Towards the end of the cooking add the pesto, spinach, rocket and watercress and stir until the spinach has wilted.

Serve immediately in bowls.

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