Simple Baked Risotto
Cooking risotto conjures not only cosy images of a warm bowl of soup-like rice filled with yummy flavours...but also the pain of standing at the stove for at least half an hour stirring and adding ingredients! Not an ideal, child-friendly dinner option, especially if you have an 18-month old like me, who hangs around your legs opening every drawer and cupboard possible in the kitchen... Unless of course you do a baked risotto. I know, who would have thought? A creamy rice dish full of flavours you and your clean little tummies like, all in one dish, and thrown in the oven!
Risotto can be a warm comforting dish but it can also be a perfect Spring dish if you flavour it with fresh, colourful Spring flavours. Traditional Italian risotto uses wine, but with a good stock and some tasty veggies or meats you won't miss the wine (just pour yourself a glass on the side!) You can add cheese, which makes it a creamy dish, but if you want to keep it vegan then just skip it.
We have lots of favourites for risotto flavours: salmon and leek, bacon and pea, prawn and courgette but this Spring recipe is full of greens; asparagus, peas and hidden spinach. Yum! Baking your risotto in the oven means you have time to do all the other tea time jobs that need doing so it is a perfect family dinner even on a busy weeknight. It takes about 30 minutes from start to finish and can be reheated later for any late comers or frozen for another day. This recipe makes enough for a family of 5, 2 adults and 3 little children. Mixed in with creamy, cheesy rice Clean Little Tummies will be happy to eat these yummy veggies but of course you can add in whatever you think will go down well in your house! Asparagus is in season at the moment so it's super tasty and you can find it everywhere. If you want to add some protein some chicken or prawns would make a nice addition too. That's the great thing about risotto; you can make it with anything you have in the fridge and a baked risotto just makes it so easy.
1 onion, chopped
300g risotto rice
1 litre of good quality vegetable stock
a bunch of asparagus, chopped into 2cm pieces (don't forget to snap off the woody end)
1 large handful of baby spinach leaves
75g frozen peas
a slice of butter
50 grams of grated parmesan
How to do it?
Pre heat the oven to 180C
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil on the stove in an ovenproof dish, once the oil is hot add the chopped onion and fry until softened.
Add the risotto rice and stir well until all the grains of rice are covered with the oil.
Pour in 900mls of the vegetable stock (save a little incase you need to loosen the risotto towards the end), stir well and bring to the boil.
Cover with the lid and place in the oven for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, remove from the oven, stir the rice well and add the asparagus. Cover and return to the oven for 8 minutes.
Then remove from the oven and add the peas and spinach, cover and return to the oven for a final 2-3 minutes until they are cooked through and all the stock has been absorbed.
Once the peas and rice are cooked, add the butter and the parmesan to create a creamy finish to this Spring vegetable dish.
With Love From
Caroline & The Clean Little Tummies Gang xxxx