I’ll start the blog off with one of my all-time favourites: Risotto. I have a feeling
that some people think of risotto as a fancy dish that requires advanced cooking
skills. I can assure you that it is not. In fact, once you’ve learned how to do
it you will be coming back to it again and again because risotto is such a
versatile dish, you can throw just about anything in there. And it’s always
I find that risotto is a bit like your favourite dress (ladies!) – it can be
dressed up or down as occasion requires. For everyday, throw in any of your
leftovers, be it a bit of veg, bacon or whatever is sat in the fridge staring
at you accusingly. For a dinner party, a simple lemon risotto makes a brilliant
accompaniment to an osso bucco, or you can splash out on luxurious seafood to
make the risotto a pièce de résistance
in itself. This version features a variety of lush greens, fresh mint and plenty
of tangy feta cheese.
½ cup risotto rice
about 1 litre vegetable or chicken stock
1-2 cloves of garlic
greens, fx asparagus, broccoli, peas
50 g feta cheese
parmesan to taste
a knob of butter
juice of ½ lemon
salt and pepper
1. Prepare your veg: If you use frozen peas, take them out of the freezer and
leave them to defrost. Dice the onion and garlic finely, cut the greens into
bitesized chunks (this will reduce cooking time). Grate the parmesan and cut
feta into little chunks.
2. Heat the olive oil in a pan over a high heat and add onion and risotto rice.
Fry for about 3 minutes, watching the rice go transparent and then back to
white. Add the garlic and fry for another minute.
3. Now get ready for 20 minutes of risotto therapy. Add a little stock, enough
to cover the rice, wait for the rice to soak up the liquid, then add more
stock. Repeat this process for about 18 minutes, constantly stirring and never
taking your eyes off the pan. Taste the rice to see if it’s done: It should be
soft but still have some bite to it. When you think the rice is just about
done, toss the greens into the risotto and stir for 2 minutes, making sure the
risotto doesn’t run dry.
4. Take the pan off the heat, add salt, pepper, butter, lemon juice, feta and
parmesan, and give it all a good stir. Dish up and add a little chopped mint to