Summer Risotto

Risotto is one those dishes that divides people, there is a tendency to dismiss it as too labour intensive or difficult to get right. For me it is the opposite. I find the stirring relaxing and therapeutic, the ingredients simple to prepare and the success rate very high. It also fits the frugal foodie agenda very well and once you are happy with the base of the recipe you can make numerous variations depending on what you have in the fridge.

This version is summer veg and I am using courgette and peas (although some asparagus would also be great). Here’s what I do.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 2 glugs of olive oil
  • 200g of arborio rice
  • Chicken/ Vegetable stock
  • A  small glass of white wine
  • A diced courgette
  • A couple of handfuls of frozen peas
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • Grated parmesan
  • Salt & pepper
  • Fresh basil

Method:

  • Make a generous saucepan of stock and leave it simmering on a low heat.
  • Heat the olive oil and butter in a wide bottomed pan.  Add the onion and garlic and sweat very gently for 10 minutes until the onions are soft but not coloured.  Never rush the onion or burn the garlic, it makes all the difference.
  • Stir in the rice making sure it is all coated.
  • Increase the heat a little and add a glass of white wine. Stir continuously until the wine has evaporated.
  • Stir in the courgette and add the stock ladle by  ladle. Stir continuously adding an additional ladle of stock when the previous one is absorbed.
  • After about 10 minutes add the peas and keeping stirring and adding more stock until the rice is cooked. This usually takes about 20 mins.
  • Take the pan off the heat and stir through the lemon zest, parmesan and ripped basil.
  • Season to taste and serve in warmed bowls with crusty bread.

Simple, delicious and budget friendly. Perfect supper for two.

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