Tired of revision and want a light meal that will give you a taste of the glorious summer that’s to come? Look no further than this delicious risotto: it’s got both comforting cheddar cheese and also lovely fresh tastes of lemon and summer veg.
I chose peas and broad beans for my recipe, since they’re both available in the freezer aisle, shelled and ready to be cooked, but you could use pretty much a mix of any summer vegetable that can be boiled- asparagus, mange tout, carrots, green beans. I’m lucky enough to have access to my father’s allotment, so I popped a pile of rocket on top which added a lovely peppery contrast to the lemon.
Summer Vegetable Risotto
Any summer veg you have around- I used a handful peas and a handful broad beans. Other ideas: carrots, asparagus, green beans, radishes or anything you fancy really!
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 knob butter/marg (optional)
1-2 spring onions, sliced thickly, or 1 small regular onion, chopped
1-4 cloves garlic, crushed
75-100g risotto (arborio or carnaroli) rice (a third to half a mug full)
Salt and Pepper
Handful cheddar cheese (or parmesan/basics hard cheese), grated
Handful rocket (optional)
- Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil. Add a little salt, and boil the peas and broad beans for 3 minutes, until tender. Note: Cooking times will vary according to whether you’re using fresh or frozen veg (I used frozen peas and fresh broad beans), or whether you’re using other veg- asparagus, green beans and carrots will take a little longer.
- Take the veg out with a slotted spoon and leave in a colander until you need them- I do this so that the lovely veg water that the veg have been cooked in can be used for stock. If this isn’t possible for you, just drain the veg and make some stock with a cube. Keep the stock hot whilst you’re cooking the rice by simmering in a small pan over a low heat.
- Melt the butter with the oil in a small-medium pan over a low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook gently over a low heat for 3-5 minutes (depending on whether you’re using spring onions or regular), constantly stirring, until the onion has softened but before the garlic browns.
- Add the rice, and stir over a heat for about a minute until all the grains are coated and they’re translucent. If you have any spare white wine left over from prelash in the fridge, pop a ladleful in and stir until it’s dissolved. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add a ladleful of stock and stir it into the rice until it has been absorbed. You need to carry on adding ladlefuls of stock and stirring them in until the rice is soft. Make sure to constantly stir it, as this is what gives risotto its lovely creamy texture.
- Once the rice is soft, add the lemon juice and cooked veg and stir for another minute. Turn the heat off, add the cheese (and a knob of butter if you’re feeling indulgent), and beat it in until you have a lovely cheesey creamy rice mixture. Wash the rocket and put it on top, if using. Enjoy in the garden if it’s nice weather!