Green and White Vegetable Risotto

Here is an easy risotto recipe with four green and white vegetables that you can chop (excuse the pun) and change to make six different vegetarian risotto versions.

The photos show my cauliflower + asparagus, and broccoli + pea risottos.

Think of the risotto as a base to which you add two vegetables and each time you make this risotto, it will look and taste totally different.  My four vegetables of choice are asparagus, petit pois peas, tenderstem broccolli and cauliflower. The variations you can create with these beautiful white and green vegetables are:

  • broccoli and peas (photographed)
  • broccoli and asparagus
  • broccoli and cauliflower
  • cauliflower and asparagus (photographed)
  • cauliflower and peas
  • asparagus and peas

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When I make this green and white risotto, I roast all of the veggies except for the peas. The first time I tasted roasted tenderstem broccoli I was blown away. Roasting totally changes broccoli into a smokey, nutty veg and roasted cauliflower tasted sweeter. Definitely much more interesting than just boiling or steaming!

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It’s super easy to roast these vegetables. I just throw it in a bowl, add a glug (technical term) of olive oil, fresh or dried herbs, salt and give it all a good mix. Then it goes onto a baking sheet lined with tinfoil (for easy cleaning) and into the oven for about 15 minutes. Sometimes I remember to turn over the vegetables half way through the 15 minutes, sometimes I don’t. Either way, the vegetables come out beautifully roasted and very tasty.

If you want more crunch and protein, you can toast flaked almonds to sprinkle over the risotto. (In our house we have to avoid nuts so I haven’t done this.)

Green and White Risotto mix and match recipe

Here is an easy risotto recipe using four green and white vegetables that you can chop and change to make six different vegetarian risotto versions.

Ingredients

  • 160g arborio rice
  • 220 g tenderstem broccoli and/or 1 whole cauliflower and/or handful frozen petit pois and/or 220 g fine asparagus spears
  • 2 tbsp dried mixed herbs
  • 40 g parmesan cheese
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 C.
  2. If you are using asparagus, slice the the spears until you reach the tips. Leave the tips whole.
  3. Use a big bowl and coat the broccoli and/or cauliflower and/or asparagus tips with olive oil, dried or fresh herbs and salt.
  4. Put the coated vegetables in the oven for 15 minutes but keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.  If roasting asparagus, add the tips to the baking tray half way through the roasting time (it needs a little less time to roast than broccoli and cauliflower does.)
  5. Boil a kettle and dissolve the vegetable stock cube in 200 ml of boiling water.
  6. Meanwhile, peel and finely chop the red onion and fry in a large pot until softened.
  7. Once the onion has softened, add the rice and chopped garlic. Stir well and make sure each grain of rice is covered in oil.
  8. Add 1/3 of the vegetable stock and stir continuously until the water is absorbed. Continue to add the stock one ladle at a time, stirring almost continuously for roughly 20 minutes.  When there is one ladle of stock left to add, add the frozen peas and/or sliced asparagus and stir. Add the last ladle of stock and cook until all is absorbed and rice cooked.
  9. When the rice is cooked remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and juice of half a lemon.  Add a generous pinch of pepper.
  10. Serve the roasted vegetables on top of the risotto.
  11. Sprinkled with more grated parmesan cheese.
  12. Enjoy!

Natasja King – food for the body, food for the soul

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