love a good risotto? I do, and it’s so easy!
This is one of my regulars, the whole family loves it, and it almost cooks itself, there are times when I have the chance to spend time on a meal, but this one can be ready in about 30 minutes if I’m speedy!
I use my big soup pot, and like my basic tomato soup recipe here, I can start it well ahead of time.
The basic recipe calls for:
Arborio rice (you can use short grain rice too, but it doesn’t seem to hold it’s shape so well..)
garlic and/or an onion (shallots are really nice too)
spices, I often use cumin, fennel is good, as are black cumin seeds and mustard seeds.
You can use any number of veges that you might have at hand, we had loads of carrots last week so I made a risotto with a couple of grated and finely chopped carrots, you can use mushrooms (just chop finely, toss them in to cook with the garlic and spices) sliverbeet or spinach, tomatoes, fresh or canned, fresh tomatoes are really good if you chop them and gently mix them through just before you serve up.. Walnuts are divine in risotto, I will add some early on with the rice, and sprinkle them on over the top to serve… YUM. Fresh herbs and a squeeze of lime of if you don’t have lime, lemon is good too.
You might have noticed I get a bit out of hand with the olive oil, I pour a fair amount into my biggest cooking pot, add finely chopped or grated garlic (you can also add or only use onions, but we love garlic) and the spices. This you can do in the morning and leave till the evening, all the spices and garlic infuse into the oil and it smells lovely…
When you’re ready to go, just lightly cook off the garlic and spices, remove from heat and add the rice, I usually go for a cup, this makes plenty for the four of us (two big people and two little ones) as well as some left over for lunches. Stir the rice through the oil, garlic and spices, until the rice is coated, then add twice the amount of stock, so if one cup of rice, two cups of vege stock, I like to have a little hot water at hand just incase, also worth noting, some veges will have higher amounts of water, like tomatoes, so just see how it goes.
I use this stock, it’s the only one I can get that has no msg or palm oil!
So, add your stock, lid on, and bring to the boil, I give it a quick stir as it can stick, then drop the temp right down to low, lid on…
In theory you ought to leave it with the lid on while it gently fluffs up, this takes about 10-15 minutes (I usually check in every 5 minutes and give a gentle stir as mine tends to stick).
This is a good time to add any chopped veges or nuts, I like to wash and reserve greens like silverbeet, rocket etc and toss them in at the end.
Sprinkle veges on to and stir through, or leave all rustic on top if you serve up in the pot!
This is so good, I sometimes add a half a cup or so of just cook lentils and stir them in before serving, a little extra protein and colour.