I love risotto. It takes a bit more time than I would usually like to spend cooking during the week – about 30 minutes – but for a weekend dinner it’s fine, really easy, and another one-pot dish for everyone to help themselves from around the table. I also love it because the base is the rice and stock and from there you can add anything you want.
In this case the star is the edamame beans – they’re low calorie, and a good source of protein, iron and calcium. The whole thing is low calorie for the amount of food, and very cheap too.
What to use – serves 1
- Half an onion, finely chopped
- 100g risotto rice
- 1 leek
- 60g peas
- 60g edamame beans
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 100ml white wine
- 600ml veg stock
- 40g parmesan cheese, grated
How to use it
Put your frozen peas and beans in a bowl, cover with boiling water and leave to defrost.
Wash your leek – I take the outer layer off, slice the leek lengthways and fan it out washing away any dirt between the layers. Chop your leek and onion, and soften in the olive oil for about 5 mins.
Add the crushed garlic, stir well and cook for another minute or so.
Add the rice. Stir well again so that it’s completely coated in oil
If you are using wine – and this is optional but adds to the flavour – turn up the heat and add it now. Let it bubble and evaporate until there’s just a little moisture left. If you’re using wine, you may need a touch less stock.
Add your first ladle of stock and stir. This is something you now need to keep doing for about 20-25 minutes. As the liquid evaporates, add another ladle of stock, being careful not to let the rice get dry. There should always be some liquid in there. The rice will start to soften at around 15 minutes. At that point, try it at regular intervals until it’s a consistency/hardness that you like.
Like any repetitive hand movements you’re not feeling the benefit of directly, this can get a little boring. However, this is a case of delayed gratification and it definitely has a happy ending.
Once the rice is on the verge of being as you like it, add the peas and beans and stir to warm through. There should be enough liquid left to do that. Then add your grated cheese, stir and melt that in.
At this stage, you can add a knob of butter if you wish (I didn’t) and season if you want to – I just added some black pepper.
Mmm rating: mm mm mm
Cost per person: £1.70
What to listen to: Slight Return – The Bluetones
What to watch: As requested by my friend Tanja, it’s time to revisit a bit of Wentworth Miller in Prison Break