Broccoli, Lemon & Mint Risotto

Broccoli

Death to the bland, boring, overcooked, undercooked, crappy, token veg option on the menu: risotto. Seriously, how can this dish be so consistently underwhelming? We are uncertain, but what we do know is how to do it right. Sure, you have your mushroom risottos, but here we have taken it up a notch, and we can help you step up your risotto game, too. This one is undeniably good and a really pretty colour. Step it up, friends.

This recipe comes from the amazing new cookbook by Smith & Deli!

Easy recipeEasy Gluten free Wheat free Reduced sugar, diabetic friendly
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Preparation time

Cook time

Total time

45

Cuisine

Italian

Meal

  • mains
  • lunches

Servings

4-6

Ingredients

Risotto

  • 60 ml/¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ brown onion, finely diced
  • 3 spring onions (scallions), white and green parts, chopped
  • 1–1.25 litres/4–5 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 330g/1½ cups arborio (risotto) rice
  • 80g/½ cup peas (frozen or fresh)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Vegan parmesan, to garnish (optional eg Violife Prosociano)

Broccoli Pesto

  • 1 broccoli head, trimmed into florets (no stalk)
  • 60ml/¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 10g/½ cup mint leaves
  • 10g/½ cup flat-leaf (Italian) parsley leaves
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Fresh green chilli, as much or as little as you like (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a shallow casserole dish or large saucepan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat and add both onions with a big pinch of salt. Fry until the onions begin to soften.
  2. While the onions are cooking, prepare the broccoli for the pesto. Bring a small saucepan of salted water to the boil and blanch the broccoli for 3–4 minutes, or until just cooked. Do not overcook; you want to keep that bright green colour.
  3. Drain the broccoli in a colander and run it under cold water until cool. Set aside to drain.
  4. Using the same pot that you used for the broccoli, heat the stock until hot. Add the garlic to the onions and cook out for a second, then add the rice.
  5. Stir well to coat, then cook over a low heat until the grains begin to look a little translucent around the edges.
  6. Slowly begin to add the warm stock to the rice – about 250ml/1 cup at a time. Stir, almost constantly, over a low heat until the rice is just cooked through and creamy.
  7. If you don’t need all the stock, don’t use it. Different brands of rice need slightly different amounts of stock, so use your best judgement.
  8. While the risotto is cooking, make the pesto.
  9. In a blender or food processor, combine the broccoli with all the pesto ingredients and blend until smooth.
  10. Once the rice is cooked – not mushy, but just cooked (about 25 minutes) – add the peas and allow to cook for a couple of minutes.
  11. Remove from the heat and fold in the pesto.
  12. Sprinkle with some parmesan, if using, and a good crack of black pepper.

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