A family favourite, this is how I learned to prepare risotto.
I’ve been making this dish for about three to four years. And I have adapted the recipe many times. More spinach. Less risotto. Adding some peas. First served with fish, instead of the original recipe’s suggestion of steak, and now fully vegetarian. This is the perfect dish to show how you can adapt your favourite dish and make it vegetarian.
The first time I made this green risotto I was especially impressed with the stock. Instead of making a standard simple stock with a stock cube and hot water, we also add some spinach, basil and garlic for extra flavour. Then slowly cook the risotto, and finish with some vegetarian parmesan cheese and vegetables.
10 minutes preparation + 35 minutes cooking — serves 2 to 3
- 1 small onion
- 200 grams risotto rice
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 250 grams fresh spinach
- 150 grams frozen peas
- 1 pack of What The Cluck pieces from the Vegetarian Butcher
- 50 grams vegetarian parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 0.5 tablespoon olive oil
- 0.5-1 tablespoon chicken seasoning
Note that we use an airfryer for a quick and lazy way to prepare the What The Cluck pieces. However, you can achieve the same effect by frying them in a pan if you do not have an airfryer.
- Preheat the airfryer to 190 degrees.
- Mix the What The Cluck pieces with the olive oil and chicken seasoning to taste.
- Heat the What The Cluck pieces in the airfryer for c. 4 minutes. Keep separate.
- While the What The Cluck pieces are in the airfryer, you can make the stock. Boil 700ml of water in a kettle.
- Mix 200 ml of hot water, the dried basil, garlic, and 50 grams of spinach with a hand blender. Add the remaining 500ml of hot water to finish the stock.
- Peel and chop the onion.
- Grate the parmesan cheese.
Preparing the risotto
- Heat some oil in a large pan and add the onion once the pan is hot. Fry the onion for 3 minutes.
- Add the risotto rice and fry for another minute with the onion over a low to medium heat.
- Add a soup serving spoon of stock to the risotto. Let the rice absorb the stock, then add another soup serving spoon of stock. Repeat until the risotto rice loses its bite (about 15-20 minutes).
Bringing it all together
- Once the rice starts to soften, add the frozen peas to the risotto and stock.
- When the peas have thawed and cooked through, add the parmesan cheese and What The Cluck pieces. Mix well so that the parmesan melts into the risotto.
- Reduce to a low heat and add the remaining spinach to the risotto. Stir the wilted spinach into the risotto. This is easiest to do in smaller handfuls so that the spinach can wilt and mix into the risotto more easily.
- Serve the risotto with some extra armesan cheese as a garnish, if desired.
Enjoy your meal!
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Leave a comment below if you made this recipe, and let me know what you think. Tips and feedback to improve the recipe are always welcome too!