Friday night lockdown Risotto Primavera
Great with a glass (or two!) of prosecco or chilled rosé, this takes a bit of preparation but is SO good! The great news is that you can prepare 95% of it in advance so that, when you're finally ready to eat (and you discover the wine bottle has sprung a disappointing leak after yet another long Zoom call) there's not much left to do in order to finish this off.
Four of five button mushrooms, roughly chopped.
Good inch of ginger, cut and diced into small cube-shaped pieces
1 cm of butter sliced from the packet
Juice of one and a half lemons
About 8 or 10 asparagus spears, the tough ends snapped off and discarded and the remainder cut into ~ 3 cm lengths
Fresh broad beans (or fresh peas)
5-6 baby courgettes (the thin ones) cut into 1cm chunks
Vegetable (or chicken) stock
A splash of olive oil
Generous amount of coriander
Parmesan cheese (grated)
Peel the broad beans from their pods and immerse into boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain, cool under cold running water and then remove the bitter light green outer shells to reveal the sweet, tender green inner bean. Set aside. Cook the asparagus chunks in salted boiling for about 2 mins then add the courgettes, bringing back to the boil for a further minute. Drain and cool under running cold water. Add the broad beans to the same pot/ pan and set aside. If using peas rather than broad beans, then add them to the water at the same time as you add the courgettes.
In a separate pan, add the butter, mushrooms, lemon juice from one lemon and ginger and cook gently for about 2 mins. Set aside. Now, in your risotto pan, add 4 heaped desert-spoonfulls of rice to a small puddle of olive oil set in the bottom of the pan and fry for 2 mins. Slowly add a little of whatever stock you are using and set the timer for 14 min. Personally, I prefer chicken stock but if you are veggie, then use a different stock. Pour the mushroom and lemon mixture into the rice and stir gently. Keep adding more stock every few minutes to keep the risotto just about liquid. Add the juice of the remaining half lemon, the coriander leaves and stalks (use kitchen scissors to cut these) and some black pepper about half-way through the cooking and a small handful of parmesan about two mins before the time is up, stirring the whole time. Then, carefully place the bottom of the pan, with a lid on top, in a basin of cold water to chill the risotto completely. Take care NOT to get any water iniside the pan!! Once cool, set aside and go and take your bottle of wine and make your Zoom call.
To finish off, return the pan to the heat, add a little more stock, all the reserved green veg, some more coriander if you have any left and bring up to heat for about 2 minutes. Taste, season and serve once thoroughly cooked through and hot. Delicious!!