Matt Moran’s Spring Green Risotto

Spring green risotto by Matt Moran

“Many people think of risotto as a time-consuming dish, but it’s actually quite quick to cook. I get the rice on, then prep my veggies as it’s cooking, leaning over to stir as needed.”

Preparation time: 10 minutes  Cooking time: 25 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 60 g butter, diced
  • ½ leek, white part only, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 200 g arborio rice or vialone nano rice
  • 100 ml vermouth or dry white wine
  • 1 litre (4 cups) hot vegetable stock (see note)
  • 150 g frozen peas, defrosted
  • 100 g sugar snap peas, trimmed and halved
  • 1 bunch asparagus, tough ends trimmed, thinly sliced
  • 1 zucchini, thinly sliced
  • Large handful of baby spinach
  • 40 g finely grated parmesan, plus extra to serve
  • Coarsely chopped thyme and mint, to serve
  • Finely grated lemon rind, to serve

Method:

  1. Heat the olive oil and a third of the butter in large saucepan over medium-high heat until the butter foams, reduce heat to low-medium, add leek and garlic and stir for 6-8 minutes until tender and translucent.
  2. Add the rice, stir for a minute or so to toast the rice and coat it oil, then add vermouth or wine and bring to the boil.
  3. Add in the hot stock, one ladleful at a time, stirring until each ladleful is absorbed before adding the next. Stir for 10-15 minutes until the rice is almost tender.
  4. Stir in the peas, sugar snap peas, asparagus and zucchini and cook for a minute or two until bright green and tender, then stir through the baby spinach to wilt.
  5. Stir in the parmesan and remaining butter to combine and serve hot, scattered with thyme, mint and lemon rind.

Note: An excellent stock is key to a good risotto and for this vego version, I make my own to be sure of its quality. It’s super-simple – you don’t even need to peel the vegetables.  Coarsely chop 2 carrots, 2 field mushrooms, 1 brown onion, 1 celery stalk and the green part of the leek and combine in a large saucepan. Add 1 halved head of garlic, 6 thyme sprigs and 1 tsp black peppercorns. Add 1.5 litres cold water and a good pinch of salt, then bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about an hour for the flavour to develop, then strain through a fine sieve (discard the solids). You can use the stock straight away or freeze it in containers for later.

This recipe is from Matt Moran’s Cook Book Australian Food: Coast & Country

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