This tasty risotto dish supplied by Garden to Table School Te Huruhi Primary School can be made all year round with whatever vegetables are in season.
- 1 onion or leek
- 3 sticks of celery (keep the leaves to add with the herbs at the end)
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 4 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
- 40 g butter or ¼ cup olive oil (if making dairy free)
- Bunch of parsley, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups of chopped seasonal green veges (e.g a mixture of silverbeet/spinach, cabbage, beans, broad beans, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus - whatever you have available)
- Lemon juice, to serve
- Salt and Pepper
- Parmesan Cheese (optional garnish)
- Finely chop the onion (or leek) and celery if using.
- Heat the butter or oil over a medium heat in a large, heavy based pot or fry pan (or electric fry pan). Add onion (or leek), celery and bay leaf and saute until softened, stirring with a wooden spoon (approx. 5 minutes).
- Heat stock in a separate pot over a medium heat. Once warmed, turn the heat to low and leave covered on the stove top.
- Add the rice to the onions and stir, making sure that all the grains are well coated with the butter or oil and cook for one minute.
- Add a cup of the hot stock and stir the rice well. The rice will absorb the hot stock and start to swell.
- Set a timer for 15 minutes.
- Keep adding the stock in small amounts, stir well and allow the rice to absorb the liquid before adding more. Continue to add the stock until the last liquid is absorbed, stirring each time. Use all but a few spoonfuls of stock (you'll use this later).
- While cooking the rice, prepare the green vegetables by chopping them into small bite-sized pieces. Cabbage and silverbeet can be shredded thinly.
- After 15 minutes, taste the rice - it should be a little bit nutty' in the centre of each grain.
- Add the chopped vegetables and the remaining stock and stir through the rice mixture. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, check the vegetables are cooked and add salt and pepper and chopped herbs.
- Allow to sit for several minutes with the lid on before serving - this helps it to become creamy.
- To serve, drizzle with some freshly squeezed lemon juice, some olive oil, chopped parsley and grated parmesan cheese.
Arborio rice is a short-grain, pearl-like Italian white rice which is high in starch. It is named after the town of Arborio, in the Po Valley, where it is grown.
Like other rices, Arborio is a member of the grass family. What distinguishes it is a higher than normal amount of soluble starch that is released during cooking. The starch is what makes a risotto creamy. Arborio rice takes about eighteen minutes to cook. It is done when it is al dente, tender on the outside and firm in the centre.
Recipe supplied by Te Huruhi School (sourced from Stephanie Alexander).