A good risotto has to be one of the best ways to celebrate seasonal ingredients. During July and August, our Market Garden is laden with delicious peas, beans and fresh herbs – all of which lend themselves perfectly to a bright, filling and utterly delicious summer risotto. Always remember, a good risotto is one that is well seasoned and cooked slowly with love.
INGREDIENTS (SERVES 2)
FOR THE PESTO:
small handful of mint
small handful of marjoram or oregano
15g pumpkin seeds
60ml olive oil
¼ clove of garlic, finely chopped
FOR THE RISOTTO:
drizzle of olive oil
1/4 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 small clove of garlic, finely chopped or crushed
150g risotto rice
75ml white wine
250ml warm vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
good turn of fresh black pepper
sprinkling of shaved parmesan
handful of pea shoots or watercress
METHOD DIFFICULTY: MEDIUM 45 MINS
Begin by making your pesto. Roughly cut the herbs and cover with the pumpkin seeds, garlic and olive oil. Leave to stand for 5 minutes before blending until almost smooth. Set aside.
Next, start to prepare your risotto by melting the butter and oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the onions and garlic and gently sweat over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add the rice and continue to sweat for another 2-3 minutes stirring all the time. Pour in the white wine and gently reduce until all the liquid has been absorbed. Then add the hot stock a ladleful at a time, adding the next ladleful just as the last one is almost absorbed. Remember to keep stirring. Repeat until almost all of the stock has been used, this should take around 40 minutes.
Finally add the peas and broad beans and return to the heat for 1-2 minutes until the vegetables just start to soften. Add the pesto and stir vigorously. The risotto is cooked when it still has a little bite but not too much crunch – just al dente.
Divide into bowls and top with cracked black pepper, shaved Parmesan, pea shoots or watercress and a good squeeze of lemon should you wish.