Very Healthy Risotto

The very lovely Nigel Slater's books taught me that you couldn't cook a good risotto without more butter and parmesan than you can shake a stick at. This is rubbish; although I can see it does taste good with the contraband stuff. You can definitely cook a perfectly delicious risotto with no butter whatsoever - just more flavour from other stuff, and a bit more white wine maybe. This is it... and its great. Instead of peas you could add lots of other lovely things - courgette (raw or cooked), fried leeks, broad beans, roasted tomatoes - nearly anything!


  • Arborio Rice (1 good sized mug for 2 people)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 or 2 sticks celery
  • Peas (bowl ish)
  • Stock (Knorr Veg pot things are good)
  • Mint & Parsley
  • Saffron (good pinch)
  • Big Glass of White Wine

Gently fry your onions and celery, finely chopped in olive oil (do not let them brown)

When they are really soft (10 or 15 minutes), add your chopped garlic for a minute before sloshing a big glass of white wine in

Once most of the liquid has disappeared, put your rice in.  You could add a bit extra Extra Virgin Olive Oil at this point.  Give it a good stir and get your first spoon of stock into the pan

The knack with risotto is one ladle of hot stock at a time, stirred constantly until it the rice is done basically.  Only add the next ladle when all the liquid is gone

I reckon 1 and a half pints of stock for the rice in this recipe (maybe less – I make a pint jug of stock and then top up with boiling water afterwards)

Add your pinch of saffron after 10 mins – you are likely to be stirring for 25 – keep checking for the rice to be done (with a bit of bite left) after 20 minutes

When you think it is nearly done – put the peas in the pan for a minute or so

When you take the risotto off the heat – stir in your chopped herbs and rest for 5 minutes

We served this with (big breath) leftover roast chicken, roasted and marinated peppers and a big spinach salad; and did you see the portion size in the picture… Hungry anyone?

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