Recipe: Easy baked risotto

September 16, 2010
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Here is some simple advice from a book called Food Rules by Michael Pollan that you might wish to follow if you want to have a healthy diet. For example…

"It's not food if it arrived through the window of your car."

"Eat when you are hungry, not when you are bored."

"'Don't eat breakfast cereals that change the colour of the milk."

"It's not food if it's called the same name in every language." (Think Big Mac or Pringles)

And remember the Chinese proverb. Eating what stands on one leg (mushrooms and plants) is better than eating what stands on two legs (fowl), which is better than eating what stands on four legs (cows, sheep). Omitted is fish but since this is entirely legless I am presuming that it is best of all.

So this week's recipe will honour the Chinese proverb and stand on one leg. It also follows my belief that taking short cuts does not mean compromising on taste or quality. This risotto is baked in the oven obviating the need to stand (on two legs) over the stove for 30 minutes.

Makes three portions

Ingredients

● 1 small onion, finely chopped
● 25g butter
● 1 clove garlic, crushed
● Half tsp fresh thyme leaves
● 150g Arborio rice
● 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
● 450 ml hot chicken-flavoured (parev) or vegetable stock
● 150g frozen peas
● 45g fresh grated Parmesan cheese
● Small squeeze of lemon juice (half tsp)

Method

● Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 400°F/Gas 6. Melt the butter in a wok or large frying pan and sauté the onion for 4 to 5 minutes until soft.
● Add the garlic, thyme and rice and cook stirring for 2 minutes.
● Add the white wine vinegar and cook until evaporated, then stir in the stock and transfer everything to a baking dish (approx 1.5 litre).
● Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the stock is absorbed and the rice is tender.
● Remove from the oven and stir in the peas and Parmesan, then re-cover and leave to stand for 2 to 3 minutes until the peas have warmed through. (You can return the dish to the oven if the kitchen is cold).
● Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in the lemon juice before serving.
● This risotto is nice on its own but you can serve it as a side dish with roast chicken - or try stirring through some diced, cooked chicken.

Annabel Karmel has written 22 books on feeding babies, children and families including her latest book, '100 Top Pasta Dishes'.

    Last updated: 11:24am, October 5 2010