I bought some risotto rice from Lidl the other day, as usual without a clear idea of what to do with it…
I did think about trying something unusual, but really, a vegetable risotto is such a gorgeous thing that I decided to keep it simple!
I’ve used the absolute minimum of oil here with just one tablespoon, I don’t think you can get away with any less or there just isn’t enough to coat the rice before the liquids go in. Also I thought I’d give it a go without any onion or shallot, instead using just carrot and celery as the base, it worked very well seeming to keep a nicely clean vegetable flavour.
I removed half of the risotto before adding in the spinach and peas, so I can make something else with it another day (arancini maybe…), but the vegetable quantities given below are for the full 4 servings.
makes 4 servings
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 celery stick, finely diced
1 tbsp oil
4 tbsp dry vermouth
200 g risotto rice
800 ml light vegetable stock, hot
1 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp dried oregano
50 g frozen spinach
120 g frozen peas
20 basil leaves, shredded
16 olives, halved (mine were stuffed with almonds)
salt and pepper
Heat the oil in a large pan on a medium heat and saute the carrot and celery for around 8 minutes, stirring often, until starting to soften.
Add the rice and stir for 1 minute until coated with a very thin film of oil.
Turn the heat up and add the vermouth. Bubble until the vermouth has almost evaporated.
Turn the heat back down to medium low and add the dried herbs, courgette and 150 ml of stock. Give it all a good mix and cook until the stock has been absorbed, stirring every minute or so.
Repeat four more times, the rice should be almost cooked by now, mine took 25 minutes.
Add the last 50 ml of stock, and the spinach and peas. Stir until the spinach has defrosted, 3 or 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Top with the basil and olives just before serving.