Thursday, 13 March 2014

Tiny Grey Cat cooks: Risotto

I haven't posted a recipe for quite some time - for a few months my fatigue was really bad and cooking was the last thing I wanted to do. I'm feeling a little better at the moment (fingers crossed it stays this way), so I've been getting my cooking mojo back.

After a sweaty gym session a few days ago, I was HUNGRY. I wanted something comforting, substantial, yet healthy. I'd never made a risotto before, but as there was a packet of risotto rice lurking at the back of the cupboard, I decided to give it a go. As usual I made it up as I went along and ohmygosh, it was amazing. I mean, not to blow my own trumpet or anything, but I really couldn't get over how delicious it was. Especially considering that it's not the most attractive of dishes - you'll just have to trust me on the yum factor.

This recipe is completely vegan, but you can substitute any of the ingredients to suit your own dietary requirements, e.g. replace vegetable stock with chicken stock, use real butter, add some cheese etc and feel free to use different vegetables - I just used whatever I had.
The best bit about it (other than how freakin' lush it is), is that there is only one pan to wash up. Holla! 

Leek, butternut and lentil risotto - serves 2*
*Possibly 3 or 4 if you're not gannets like us.

You will need:

  • 200g risotto rice
  • 2 medium leeks, sliced
  • Half a medium butternut squash, cut into small cubes
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • Half a tin of lentils
  • Approx 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary (or more, to taste)
  • Vegetable stock
  • Olive oil
  • Black pepper, to season
  • Knob of Pure vegan butter (optional)

Start by heating a slosh of olive oil in a large, non-stick pan over a medium heat. I used my big frying pan so that everything would be spread out and cook evenly. Add the leeks, onion, garlic and butternut squash to the pan and cook gently for 5-10mins, until starting to soften. Do not allow anything to brown.

Next, add the dry risotto rice and cook for a further 5mins or so, stirring frequently. 

Meanwhile, prepare your stock. Keep it on hand so you can make more if needed. I used around a litre of stock for mine.

Add enough stock to cover everything in the pan, stir, then cover with a lid, keeping it simmering on a low heat.

Once most of the stock has been absorbed, stir in the rosemary and lentils then add more stock - again, enough to just cover everything. Replace the lid and continue simmering.

Repeat the process with the stock until you've used it all/the rice is soft and cooked through. This took about 30mins-ish.

When it's almost ready, check if it needs seasoning and add freshly ground black pepper to taste. I also added a little more rosemary, because I love rosemary, OK? Thyme would also work really well.

Turn off the heat and if desired, stir in a knob of butter to make it extra creamy. It by no means needs it, but what is life without butter? You can also stir in some cheese, like taleggio, if you really want to go for it.

Do a final check for seasoning, whack it on a plate and fill your tum with wholesome, delicious, YUM.

I'm salivating just writing this post. I really can't wait to make this again.

Let me know if you try it and how it turns out!


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  1. Wow this looks really good :) I'm a big fan of one pan dishes and I'm trying to eat more vegetables,I''ll have to try it out.xx

    1. I really couldn't believe how well it turned out - I honestly thought it was going to be a cooking fail! It will definitely be one of my regular makes from now on. Do let me know how it goes if you try it! xx


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