Risotto is a northern Italian rice dish cooked with broth until it reaches a creamy consistency. It provides a great way to us whatever vegetables are in season and of course leftover wine or cheese that has gone a bit hard. This is our green bean and spinach risotto.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • A splash of oil (olive or vegetable)
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 250 grams of risotto rice
  • A splash of leftover white wine (optional, and as long as you would have drank it at some point)
  • A big handful of green beans (courgette, diced or shredded cabbage, depending on what is in season)
  • 100 grams of spinach, shredded (fresh or frozen are fine)
  • ½ cup of peas
  • 750 millilitres of vegetable stock (try our Zero waste vegetable stock)
  • 50 grams of hard cheese (Parmesan or a mature cheddar, for a no dairy version use a pinch of Engevita yeast flakes)
  • A small knob of butter (optional)
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • Sea salt and black pepper, freshly ground

 Method

  1. Sweat the shallots in the oil over a medium heat until translucent add the garlic and continue to cook for a further two minutes, until softened.
  2. Stir in the rice and cook until transparent (Italians call this the tostatura stage). If you have a splash of wine now is the time to pour it in and cook off the alchohol.
  3. Now add the stock a little at a time, stirring regularly but not constantly until all is absorbed and creamy and the rice is just under cooked, about 15 minutes. Now add the green beans, spinach and peas. Add more stock until the rice is just cooked.
  4. Now add the butter (if using), cheese (or yeast flakes), knock in all of the ingredients until the risotto is creamy (Italians call this stage mantecatura). Add a squeeze of lemon for freshness and season to taste.

Hard core want more? If Italian food is your thing try our 5 pasta recipes using roughly five ingredients

By Mark Breen of Seasonal Kitchen.