It is quite often that when I write my food blogs, it is actually the first time I have ever cooked the dish. So, I have to admit, this recipe is no different. Prior to making this, I had never made a risotto from scratch on my own before. I have eaten a lot of risottos, just never made one.
I love risottos, they are so versatile and relatively simple to make. The ingredients in a risotto can be very diverse, for example… fish, meat, veggies, plain, spices and herbs, dairy free, gluten free, vegan (the list goes on). But, on this occasion, I opted for a fresh spring veggie risotto both gluten and dairy free, that can be easily made vegan too.
My ingredients were:
– 1 Leek
– 3 Mushrooms
– 1/2 Cup of peas
– 1 Brown onion
– 2 Cups arborio rice
– 2 Glugs of white wine (I chose a cheap Sav Blanc)
– 2 Stock cubes, or homemade stock (I used chicken style, which is completely plant based)
– 1/2 Lemon juiced
I began firstly by prepping all the veggies. To a frying pan I added a glug of oil, the diced onion, the roughly chopped leek, and after around 5 minutes the mushrooms. I finely chopped the mushrooms, because I am not a huge fan of their taste, but I know they’re very good for you, so I am trying to force myself to eat more! Once they are small, you can barely notice that they’re there.
After a few more minutes, the leek should have softened and the onion turned a translucent white colour. I transferred the ingredients into a large saucepan, ensuring everything was evenly combined, before adding the arborio rice. Once again, I gave everything a good stir, and added in the peas. I measured these more by eye, so its completely up to you how many you put in- I am guessing it was about a cup.
Now it is time for the wine. Once again, I measured this by eye, and added in two healthy glugs. Remember, you can always more! Wine is great in a risotto as it helps to balance out the richness of the rice and stock, creating a slightly acidic taste. There isn’t a super wine-y taste as the alcohol burns off during the cooking process.
Once the wine has dissolved, it is time to begin adding the stock. As I was using a simple recipe as a guide, I went slightly off piste and added as much stock as I thought right for the texture and consistency of the risotto. It ended up being 3 cups. I began to add the stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until the liquid was fully absorbed, and then adding another 1/2 cup… etc…
Finally, all the stock will be absorbed into the rice, which should take around 20 minutes. The rice should now be puffy and soft, and the risotto should be an almost thick texture. However, if the rice is a little al dente, you can reduce the heat and continue to stir the risotto until cooked.
Into the pot I then squeezed the juice of 1/2 a lemon, which helps break up the richness like the wine! I also added a little salt and pepper, but I think this is better to add after serving as it should already be very flavoursome.
I also added some dried chilli flakes, which gave it a good kick, and I believe helps break down the creaminess a little.
Not only is this a simple recipe, it can also be done at a very low cost. The wine is the most expensive ingredient, but it means you can drink the leftovers so its win:win really. This recipe will produce about 4 large portions, or even more if you serve with a side salad and reduce portion size. All the ingredients cost me less than $10, averaging at $2.50 or less per portion.