(Serves 6 adults, uses 1 pan)
I wanted to make this dish as nutritious and fibrous as possible by adding lots of tasty veggies, including peas or beans – helping towards eating ‘5-a-day’ for health[1, 2].
The great thing about a risotto is you can pretty much add in any veg you fancy. For example, when in season, I’d swap out the frozen peas for fresh broad beans, just because I absolutely love them! And, if you’d like to keep things convenient, choose veg that take a similar time to cook.
Here’s how we often make it at home…
– 1 Brown onion (finely chopped)
– 2-3 Garlic cloves (finely chopped)
– 1-2 Red or green chillies (finely chopped)
– 400g Italian arborio risotto rice (rinsed)
– Juice of 1 lemon
– 1.2 litre of veg stock (2 stock cubes added to water)
– 1 tablespoon (or to your taste) mixed herbs
– 1 Courgette (diced)
– 250g Asparagus (break-off flat ends and slice remainder)
– 1 large handful frozen peas (oops, they missed the photo shoot!)
– 250g Mushrooms (chopped)
– 80g Spinach (remove any overly thick stalks, chopped/torn)
– 1 large handful tomatoes (chopped)
– Add salt to taste when dished up (to reduce overall salt content).
Tip: To save on preparation time, chop the veg while the rice is cooking.
Tip: Although I use a large wok for this dish, a large saucepan would work well too.
1. Cook the onion, garlic and chilli together on a medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally (no need for oil – just add a little water if it starts to stick).
2. Add rice to the mix and ‘toast-off’ for 1 minute.
3. Adjust to a medium-low heat. Add lemon juice.
4. Add 1 ladle of stock and mix.
5. After the stock has been absorbed, add another ladle and mix occasionally. Repeat until the last ladle. (This is the time-consuming bit – a good time to cut up the veg).
6. On the last ladle, add the mixed herbs, courgette, asparagus, mushrooms and peas.
7. After final stock has absorbed, check rice is cooked.
8. Add more water if further cooking is needed, otherwise, stir in spinach.
9. Top with tomatoes and serve.
10. Add salt and/or soy/tamari sauce to taste.
11. Most importantly, enjoy!
Tip: If you want a creamier texture, you could add a little milk (I’ve used soya milk before) after the last ladle of stock or stir in a mashed avocado before serving.
1. National Health Service (NHS), 2018. Eat Well: Why 5 A Day? [online]. Available from: www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/why-5-a-day/.
2. Change for Life, ca. 2019. 5 A Day [online]. Available from: www.nhs.uk/change4life/food-facts/five-a-day.
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