Early Spring Vegetable Risotto
½ tsp olive oil
4 dsps spring onions, finely chopped
1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
275g/10oz risotto rice
Zest of 2 lemons
150ml/¼ pt dry white wine
570ml/1pt light vegetable stock
1 courgette, diced
225g/8oz asparagus tips
1 dsp yogurt or cream
1 dsp parsley, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
25g/1oz freshly grated Parmesan
Risotto has to be one of the tastiest dishes around. Not only does it make a great meal for dinner parties, but because of the creamy texture of the rice, it's also the perfect comfort food.
I've used green spring vegetables here, such as asparagus and courgettes, to give this risotto freshness and colour. The recipe is also low in cost if you choose good-value seasonal vegetables.
Serves four to six as a starter; two to three as a main course.
1 Lightly steam the courgette and asparagus for two to three minutes until tender, then set to one side. Spray a pan with the oil, then add the spring onions and chilli and cook for three to four minutes. Add the rice and lemon zest and stir until the rice is well mixed and coated. Now add the wine and half of the stock and cook gently. Stir continuously until the stock is almost completely absorbed.
2Add the courgette and asparagus and a little more stock. Continue adding the stock, a little at a time, stirring frequently until all the liquid has been absorbed. The risotto should now look quite creamy and the rice should be tender, though it should have some bite. If the rice is not cooked, add a little more stock and continue cooking. It should take approximately 10-12 minutes for all the stock to be absorbed and for the rice to cook.
3When the rice is cooked, add the yogurt or cream and parsley. Season to taste. Serve with a sprinkling of freshly grated Parmesan.
Tip: If possible, use fresh stock in your risotto -- it does make all the difference.