Pesto & goat cheese risotto

Just come back from holiday so got some catching up to do on blogging. I made this pesto and goat cheese risotto a while back using some dried pesto that I got from TK Maxx. I love perusing the food aisles in there and I have some parmesan truffle cream to find a use for. This recipe was on BBC Good Food – I’m really starting to wonder if I need a separate risotto tag on my blog.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 200g risotto rice
  • 700ml vegetable stock
  • 3 tbsp dried pesto
  • 100g goat cheese
  • 1 tin broad beans

Method

1.) Make up the stock

2.) Heat up a tbsp of oil in a saucepan then add the rice and the pesto.

3.) Toast the rice for 1 minute then add ladlefuls of the stock, simmering until the liquid mostly disappears

4.) Continue until all the stock has been absorbed

5.) Drain the tin of beans and add them to the pan

6.) Cook for a minute then add half the goat cheese, stir to dissolve in the risotto.

7.) Cut the remaining goat cheese into chunks. Serve the risotto and plate up the rest of the cheese.

Sprout & Lemon Risotto

Sprouts are super tasty when not overcooked and one of the vegetables we can actually grow in the UK so it’s a shame generally people only eat them at Christmas with a roast dinner. This recipe from Ottolenghi’s ‘Plenty More’ is freshened up by using lemon rind and tarragon and made a bit special with delicious dolce Gorgonzola. Ottolenghi serves this with some fried quartered sprouts (300g) which I didn’t serve on this occasion but can only improve things even more.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 30g butter
  • 2 small onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • few sprigs thyme
  • 2 lemons
  • 300g risotto rice
  • 200g sprouts
  • 200ml white wine
  • 900ml vegetable stock
  • 40g parmesan
  • 60g dolce gorgonzola
  • 10g tarragon
  • salt and pepper

Method

1. ) Peel and finely chop the onions. Chop the sprouts into shreds. Melt the butter in a saucepan and then add the onions. Start to fry until soft.

2.) While the onion is softening, peel and finely chop the garlic, strip the leaves from the thyme sprigs and peel the skin from one of the lemons. With a small knife, scrape any pith that’s left on the lemon strips. Finely slice the lemon skin.

3.) Once the onion is soft, dd the garlic, lemon and thyme to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes. Measure out the wine in a measuring jug.

4.) Add the rice to the pan along with the sprouts and toast for 1 minute.

5.) Add the wine and let it simmer until mostly cooked off. In the meantime, make up the stock.

6.) Add the stock in ladleful’s until it’s all absorbed and the rice is soft with a bite. Zest the lemon and measure out the cheese. Grate the parmesan. Finely chop the tarragon.

7.) Once the rice is soft, add the cheeses, lemon zest and some salt and pepper. Slice a lemon in half, remove the pips and squeeze in the juice from one half. Add the tarragon and stir.

Beetroot and Stilton Risotto

I was hesitant about putting this on the blog as I know it’s my third risotto but it’s so different from the other two posts that it merits a post. Also I was quite keen to see how a slow-cooker risotto would come out compared to the usual standing over a pan. There wasn’t much of a difference – maybe a little bit more liquidy but that could have been due to the beetroot which I did use more of than the recipe just due to the size of the packets. My husband has kindly informed me that my picture looks a mess but trust me, it tastes better than it looks. You could switch it up a bit and use goats cheese which is a classic combination with beetroot. I got this recipe from ‘Vegetarian Slow-Cooker’ by Libby Silbermann.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 400g beetroots (I got the pre-roasted vac packed beetroot)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • olive oil
  • 100ml water
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 250g arborio rice
  • 200ml red wine
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 100g walnuts
  • 100g stilton
  • salt and pepper
  • 10g dill

Method

1.) Peel and chop the onion. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onion, fry for 5 minutes until soft.

2.) In the meantime, peel and chop the garlic then add to the onions after 5 minutes with the fennel seeds and fry for another couple of minutes.

3.) Add the rice and toast lightly for a couple of minutes. Then pour in the wine and reduce down.

4.) While this is reducing, make up the vegetable stock and add 2/3 of the beetroot to a food processor/blender. If using a blender, also add the water. If not, add the water to the mixture afterwards.

5.) Add the rice mixture and the beetroot puree to the slow cooker with the vegetable stock. Cook on a high-heat for 2 hours.

6.) In the meantime, break up the walnuts and lightly toast in a frying pan until starting to be fragrant. Chop up the remaining beetroot into cubes. Chop up the stilton. Finely chop the dill.

7.) When the slow cooker is ready, add the stilton to the pan and stir to melt. Stir through the dill and top with walnuts to serve.

Leek, Cheese and Pine Nut Risotto

I really love risotto and I loved the look of this one from Gino D’Acampo’s ‘Italian Escape’. I love Gino D’Acampo and our cat’s named after him (kinda). We had to give him an Italian name as his brother is named Figaro after the cat from Pinocchio. I picked the recipe in his book because it used Taleggio cheese which is one of my favourites – a creamy cheese with a slight blue taste to it. As I couldn’t find it, I instead used half St Agur (a mild blue cheese) and half Iberico (similar to Manchego). It was so tasty and now I just need to make it again but with Taleggio to compare.

Serves 4 (large portions)

Ingredients

  • 30g butter
  • 2 leeks
  • 1 courgette
  • 400g arborio rice
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 150ml white wine
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 60g pine nuts
  • 200g Taleggio (100g St Agur/100g Iberico cheese)
  • salt and pepper

Method

1.) Wash and slice up the leeks. Dice the courgette.

2.) Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the vegetables.

3.) While these are softening, strip the leaves from the thyme sprigs. Measure out the rice and weigh out the rice.

4.) Add the rice and thyme to the pan and stir for a couple of minutes.

5.) Add the wine to the pan and let it cook off. In the meantime, make up the stock.

6.) Add ladles of the stock at a time to the pan and let them be absorbed.

7.) In the meantime, weigh out the cheese and cut into cubes.

8.) Once all the stock is absorbed, add the cheese and pine nuts and stir through until the cheese is melted. Season and serve.