Okay, so I know it’s completely ridiculous to post a recipe called ‘risotto primavera’ slap bang in the middle of winter, considering ‘primavera’ means spring, but I hope you’ll join me in completely ignoring that fact. If I have the ingredients for something in the fridge, I’m going to make it, seasons be damned.
If you can’t bring yourself to make a primavera dish in January, file this away until March.
‘Primavera’ usually refers to a pasta dish, but this time I decided to make risotto instead. According to Wikipedia (where I do about 98% of my research), it basically contains a load of vegetables… and that seems to be the entire definition. The exact vegetables in a primavera dish can vary, so I went for broccoli, courgette and green beans.
I know it’s generally best to eat a colourful diet, but sometimes it’s pretty satisfying to look down at your dinner plate and just see green. I feel very grown up for eating so many green vegetables. It helps that despite the standard child’s view of green vegetables, this risotto is packed with flavour from the parsley pesto, and since the vegetables are sautéed instead of boiled, they’re far from limp and overcooked. If you’re still not convinced by green veg, try it and then think again.
- 1tbsp oil
- 1 onion, diced or slices
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 150g courgette (one medium), halved lengthwise then sliced
- 100g green beans, cut into inch-long pieces
- 100g broccoli, cut into fairly small florets
- 175g arborio rice
- ~800ml hot vegetable stock
- 3tbsp pine nuts
- 3tbsp fresh parsley
- 4tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Black pepper
- Heat the oil in a large pan or wok, and add all of the vegetables (onion to broccoli). Stir fry over a medium heat for around 5 minutes, until the onion is soft and the broccoli is just tender.
- Remove the vegetables from the pan, and set aside.
- Add the rice to the pan (no need to clean the pan), and after a minute or so, begin to add the hot stock a couple of ladlefuls at a time. Stirring regularly, cook the rice over a medium heat until most of the stock has been absorbed, and then add another couple of ladlefuls. Continue doing this until the rice is cooked.
- While the rice is cooking, prepare your quick parsley pesto. Add the pine nuts to a mini food processor, and blitz to form a coarse crumb. Add the parsley and olive oil, and blitz again to create your pesto.
- When the rice is just about cooked, return your vegetables to the pan, and add the parsley pesto (retain a little for drizzling over the top if desired). Season generously with black pepper.
- When the vegetables have been reheated thoroughly, serve the risotto topped with any remaining pesto, a few extra pine nuts (if you have any), and a drizzle of olive oil.