We’ve been back from Stag Cottage only two days and I’m already missing it. I miss the remote glen. I miss the wood burner in the living room. I miss having pine martens in my garden. And I miss the above pretty kitchen.
My own kitchen is a brown, late 70’s, formica affair. It’s functional, but it’s seriously hideous and no amount of tile painting or handle replacing is ever going to disguise its hideousness. One day, somewhere in the distant future, I will have a light, airy kitchen with deep shelves, shiny appliances, wooden surfaces and green walls. Much like the kitchen which inspired the following dish, in fact.
Rachel’s Food is a British cookery programme hosted by Rachel Allen. To be honest, I rarely watch it as, though she seems exceptionally pleasant, I find the hostess’s vowel sounds highly irritating. I did catch it a couple of weeks ago, however, and Ms Allen was making an oven baked risotto verde which looked utterly spectacular. The following was my attempt to imitate the dish cooking the risotto on the stove top rather than in the oven.
I made this for the first time four weeks ago and we’ve eaten it every week since. Need I say more? ;)
2 handfuls of spinach
Cup of peas (fresh or frozen)
20-ish basil leaves
1 tblspn olive oil
1 garlic clove
200g risotto rice
1 glass of white wine
50g pecorino cheese
Handful of chopped parsley
- Bring a small pan of salted water to the boil. Add the peas and cook for 3 minutes. Add the spinach to the pan and cook until wilted. Drain.
- Add the cooked spinach and peas to a food processor along with the basil. Blitz for 10 seconds until a very green, not at all smooth paste is formed.
- Meanwhile, get the risotto started. Saute the onion and garlic in the oil over a low heat until soft. Turn up the heat and add the rice. Fry until rice begins to turn opaque. Add the wine and let the alcohol burn off. Lower the heat to medium and gradually add the hot stock ladle by ladle, stirring constantly.
- When the rice is almost cooked add the very green paste to the risotto, season and continue to cook until rice is al dente.
- Remove from the heat and add the pecorino and parsley. Cover and set aside.
- Meanwhile, rub the asparagus with olive oil and seasoning. Cook on a griddle pan over a high heat for 3-4 minutes.
- Stir the risotto and serve topped with the asparagus spears and sprinkled with more pecorino.