I’m very fond of risotto. It’s quick and easy to make and versatile too. I especially enjoy it in the depths of winter, when you need something comforting and stodgy to shovel down and make you feel all cosy. However, I recently made this ‘Summersotto’ when the weather was a bit warmer, as I wanted a risotto that was light and summery (despite this being a bit of a contradiction in terms). I didn’t really want to call it ‘Summersotto’, by the way- it sounds like the sort of thing Nigella would come up with (although my unconditional love for her still stands). I purposefully wrote down ‘Summer Risotto’ when I noted down the recipe, but the word ‘Summersotto’ crept back in and now I’m stuck with it. Sorry about that.
One thing I will say about risotto is that it’s important to be prepared. I’m not usually the sort of person who gets all my ingredients set up in bowls, Delia style, before I start. I make an exception for risotto though- it only takes a few minutes to get everything ready and it ensures you can give it your all for the eighteen minutes of stirring that follows (let’s call it twenty- risotto recipes are always so precise about that magic number of eighteen minutes but who’s really counting?)
- A knob of butter
- Olive oil
- An onion, chopped
- 165g risotto rice (150g would be enough for two, but I buy risotto rice in 500g packets and use a third per risotto)
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- White wine
- Juice of half a lemon
- 600ml vegetable stock
- 100g frozen broad beans
- 100g frozen peas
- A small courgette, grated
- Zest of a lemon
- Fresh mint, chopped
- Fresh thyme, chopped
- 100g feta, chopped into small cubes
- Parmesan (optional)
Get all your ingredients ready. Put a small pan of water on to boil and in a separate, larger pan, melt the butter. Add a glug of olive oil and then add the onion. Cook the onion until it’s turning translucent and add the risotto rice. Stir to coat everything in butter and oil, then add the garlic and cook for a minute or so. Turn the heat up a bit higher and add a generous glug of white wine and the lemon juice. Allow the booze to cook off a bit.
Begin to add your vegetable stock a ladleful at a time, allowing it to be absorbed before adding the next one- you know what to do. Keep stirring as you go. When you’ve used about half of your stock, add the broad beans and peas to the smaller pan of boiling water. Cover and allow to simmer.
When you’ve used up all your stock, test a couple of grains of rice to see if they’re cooked. If not, add a bit more stock or boiling water and keep stirring for a couple more minutes.
Turn off the heat and stir through the grated courgette, lemon zest and herbs. Drain and add the beans and peas.
Divide into bowls and sprinkle the feta over the top. Add some parmesan too, if you fancy.