Risotto Verde

We’ve been back from Stag Cottage only two days and I’m already missing it.  I miss the remote glen. I miss the wood burner in the living room. I miss having pine martens in my garden.  And I miss the above pretty kitchen. 

My own kitchen is a brown, late 70’s, formica affair.  It’s functional, but it’s seriously hideous and no amount of tile painting or handle replacing is ever going to disguise its hideousness. One day, somewhere in the distant future, I will have a light, airy kitchen with deep shelves, shiny appliances, wooden surfaces and green walls.  Much like the kitchen which inspired the following dish, in fact.

Rachel’s Food is a British cookery programme hosted by Rachel Allen.  To be honest, I rarely watch it as, though she seems exceptionally pleasant, I find the hostess’s vowel sounds highly irritating.  I did catch it a couple of weeks ago, however, and Ms Allen was making an oven baked risotto verde which looked utterly spectacular.  The following was my attempt to imitate the dish cooking the risotto on the stove top rather than in the oven.

I made this for the first time four weeks ago and we’ve eaten it every week since.  Need I say more?  😉

Risotto Verde

2 handfuls of spinach

Cup of peas (fresh or frozen)

20-ish basil leaves

1 tblspn olive oil

1 onion

1 garlic clove

200g risotto rice

1 glass of white wine

500ml stock

50g pecorino cheese

Handful of chopped parsley

Asparagus spears

  • Bring a small pan of salted water to the boil.  Add the peas and cook for 3 minutes.  Add the spinach to the pan and cook until wilted.  Drain. 
  • Add the cooked spinach and peas to a food processor along with the basil.  Blitz for 10 seconds until a very green, not at all smooth paste is formed.
  • Meanwhile, get the risotto started.  Saute the onion and garlic in the oil over a low heat until soft.  Turn up the heat and add the rice.  Fry until rice begins to turn opaque.  Add the wine and let the alcohol burn off.  Lower the heat to medium and gradually add the hot stock ladle by ladle, stirring constantly. 
  • When the rice is almost cooked add the very green paste to the risotto, season and continue to cook until rice is al dente.
  • Remove from the heat and add the pecorino and parsley.  Cover and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, rub the asparagus with olive oil and seasoning.  Cook on a griddle pan over a high heat for 3-4 minutes.
  • Stir the risotto and serve topped with the asparagus spears and sprinkled with more pecorino.

21 thoughts on “Risotto Verde

  1. Well, I’m no fan of risotto, so far I have only met one I truly enjoyed immensely, but that asparagus/kitchen picture is a stunner!! 🙂 And such a beautiful colour on the walls, me want too.

  2. That kitchen is seriously lovely. I’ve had some shockers over the years.

    I wondered of Rachel Allen was on the telly. She seems like the cheery sort who does well in that particularly visual medium!

  3. I dream of the day I get my benchtips replaced because some idiot just painted over the wood! But that kitchen does look lovely and light – and I like the idea of the puree in the risotto – more green is always a good thing!

  4. Pia – Thanks! I was really pleased with it. 🙂

    Lucy – Isn’t it? And Rachel Allen is very personable. Makes me feel guilty that I can’t stand listening to her!

    Katie – Thank you so much. And I visted your blog this morning. Love it too! You can’t really be 14 though, can you??? 😉

    Johanna – I agree. Green is good. 🙂

  5. Ha ha!! When you mentioned Rachel allen, my heart sank as I find her so irritating! But then you said you did too so I don’t feel alone any longer… It is the vowel sounds isn’t it? Couldn’t quite put my finger on that one before. Gorgeous risotto though, not at all annoying!

  6. My hubby has exactly the same issues with Rachel Allen as you! He can’t watch her at all. This recipe looks delicious though, despite her manerisms!

  7. David – Thank you!

    Aforkfullofspaghetti – I was thinking about you and your kitchen when I wrote this post!

    Helen – Yup. Definitely the vowel sounds. Especially when she says “off”. Gah!!

    Holler – Good. Let me know if you try it out. 🙂

    Cookingpanda – It’s much lighter than the usual risottos but still lovely and creamy. Best of both worlds. 🙂

    Christina – Off to Google Rachel Ray now!

    Nina – Thank you so much!

    Beth – So glad I’m not the only one. 🙂

  8. Julia – Frozen peas work equally as well. If you’re not veggie, some parma ham would be nice on top. What other veg could you use, I wonder…

  9. yes…the vowel sounds…yhis week monkfish sounded like mankfish…it is the contrived ‘plummy’ irish accent (I am Irish). Here it’s known as a D4 accent, relating to postal address – it is a really irritating phenomenon. It is the avoidance of round vowel prononciation, to avoid sounding too Irish – if that makes sense – resulting in mis-prononciation! Phew glad I got that off my chest. Ps I love to try new recipes but can’t watch show

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