Vegetable Risotto

Here’s another great vegetarian recipe I made while Alex was visiting. To be honest, this one I probably wouldn’t put any meat in anyway… except for maybe a few bacon lardons if I was in the mood.
I’m a huge huge fan of risotto, there’s something deliciously indulgent about it and since it was Christmas week, and if you can’t pig out at Christmas when can you? I went all out, putting in a hell of a lot of parmesan and adding cream at the end. If you’re not being as naughty as I am though, leave out the cream and just add a sprinkling of the cheese. I’d be reluctant to cut out the Parmesan completely as it really does add to the overall flavour of the dish.
This has to be one of my favourite staple dishes, another great one for using up whatever vegetables you have left over at the end of the week. This recipe serves 6.
1 courgette, cut into bite size chunks
1 stick of celery, sliced
2 portobello mushrooms, cut into bite size chunks
1 red pepper, cut into bite size chunks
1/2 a large onion, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 mug frozen peas
1 tsp dried oregano
handful fresh flat leaf parsley
300g arborio/risotto rice
1 litre vegetable stock
generous helpings of parmesan, grated
150 ml cream
1. In a large pan, heat 2 tbsp of oil and fry the onions, celery and the garlic, until softened and golden.
2. Add the mushrooms, pepper and courgette.
3. Add the rice and stir in, ensuring all the grains get coated in oil.
4. Cover the mixture in some of the stock, just enough to cover the rice, you’ll need to add this bit by bit throughout the recipe. Stir as you go.
5. Add the dried oregano.
6. As the rice absorbs the liquid add more stock, not letting the mixture go dry.
7. Halfway through add a generous handful of the grated parmesan and stir in.
8. Keep adding the liquid until the rice is cooked, if you don’t use all of the stock it doesn’t matter, however if you’ve used it all and the rice is still not cooked, add boiled water in it’s place.
9. When the rice is almost cooked stir in the peas and the fresh herbs and a second generous handful of grated parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
10. The dish is ready to serve when the mixture is creamy and moist but not too watery or runny.
11. When it’s ready pour in the cream and stir through.
12. Serve with a sprinkling of parmesan on top.

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