Many people might think of risotto as a hearty winter dish and it certainly can be – but in my mind, it’s perfect for tucking into all year round. Not only is it incredibly versatile thanks to the fact you can create tens of different varieties and add all kinds of ingredients, but it’s really simple to throw together, too – perfect for even the biggest kitchen novices! This easy pea(sy), mushroom and pesto number that I put together last week has been playing on my mind ever since I devoured it, so thought I’d share the recipe with you all, too.
Prep: 10 mins Cook: 40 mins
1 tbsp olive oil (or about 7 sprays of Fry Lite if you’re keeping calories down)
One brown onion, diced
Clove garlic, crushed and finely chopped
120g arborio risotto rice (dry weight)
400ml vegetable stock (I use Kallo, as theirs is gluten free)
100g button or chestnut mushrooms, chopped
80g frozen peas
80g green pesto
1 Heat the oil in a large pan on a high heat. Add the onion and garlic, and fry for five mins until the onion is soft (but don’t let it turn brown). Add the risotto rice to the pan and cook for a few minutes until the edges start to turn translucent.
2 Add about 100ml of the stock water, and turn the heat down to low. Let the ingredients simmer away, and stir occasionally to help the rice soak up the water and ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. When all first 100ml of water has been absorbed, add another 100ml and repeat.
3 After the second lot of stock water has been absorbed, add the third 100ml, along with the chopped mushrooms. Stir well and leave to simmer, repeating step 2 as before.
4 With the final 100ml of stock water, add in the peas and leave to cook, as before. When the water is nearly all absorbed, add in the pesto and stir well, ensuring all the risotto mix is covered.
5 When the water is fully absorbed and the rice looks big and fluffy, remove the pan from the heat. Chop the lemon in half; juice one half and stir the juice well into the risotto. Serve the risotto onto two plates, and slice up the remaining lemon half to pop on the top. Voila!