I wanted to make a risotto bursting with flavour for a late summer evening when my very good friend was visiting from Brussels. A one pot supper that requires lots of stirring, but it’s always worth the effort. I don’t make risottos every week, but when I do I always enjoy the outcome; and as you use wine in the recipe I almost always end up having a chilled glass of white on the side. Pleasing.
If you’re resisting the season change and want to grasp onto summer a bit longer, these are the ingredients to help you on your way… fresh to the point that they practically bounce around inside your cheeks.
If I wasn’t catering for a vegetarian I’d have used king prawns instead of goats cheese and upped the parmesan content, but I was so this is what I did….
Goats cheese, pea, lemon and basil risotto
1 litre vegetable stock
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
zest of 1 lemon, and the juice too!
400g arborio rice
2 cups frozen peas
handful basil leaves, torn
75g soft goats cheese
25g freshly grated parmesan (or veggie alternative)
large knob butter
1. Make up the vegetable stock with boiling water and then keep it over a low heat.
2. In a large sturdy pan, heat the olive oil and then gently fry the garlic, celery and lemon zest for 5 minutes until soft.
3. Add the rice, give a good stir and increase the heat. After a couple of minutes add the wine and stir until it’s evaporated.
4. Start adding the stock a ladelful at a time, stirring regularly to stop it sticking on the bottom and to massage the rice making it nice and creamy. Once one ladle of liquid has been absorbed, add another and repeat until all the stock has been used and your rice is almost cooked.
5. Stir the frozen peas into the rice and then remove from the heat. Stir in the basil, lemon juice, goats and parmesan cheese and butter, put the lid on the pan and leave to steep for 5 minutes while you rustle up a simple leafy green salad and get the dishes and cutlery out.
6. Take the lid off, season and stir the creamy risotto and spoon into bowls and serve.