Happy Christmas everyone!! I hope you indulged in both rest and merry-making. My Christmas was relaxed and peaceful, with a BIG northern hemisphere style feast, including turkey, Christmas ham, roasted veg and potatoes, yorkshire puddings, stuffing, prosciutto and figs, salami and smoked salmon. I’m salivating just thinking of it again!
If you’d like something a little different from holiday fare, but still with a little indulgence, I would suggest this beautiful risotto recipe:
- 1 zucchini, finely chopped
- 1 small bunch fresh mint, roughly chopped, stalks reserved
- 125 grams mozzarella or bocconcini
- 1 small red onion, minced
- 1 celery stick, minced
- 1 cup risotto rice
- 400ml chicken or vegetable stock
- 100ml hard cider or white wine
- 1/2 fresh red chilli, finely chopped
- 50g parmesan cheese
- olive oil
- 50g butter
- sea salt
- black pepper
Chop all of your vegetables as instructed in the ingredients list. Put a large saucepan onto medium-low heat and add butter, a splash of olive oil, a splash of water, celery and onion. Cook for around 5-6 minutes until softened and translucent. In a separate plan, bring the stock to a boil, then turn down the heat, add the mint stalks and let it simmer. Once the vegetables are just soft, add the rice to the pan. Stir fry the rice with the veg for around 2 minutes to let it absorb the flavours. The rice should turn a bit translucent, and at this point add the cider/wine. Keep stirring until the cider has been absorbed by the rice. Stirring constantly, add the stock (avoiding the mint stalks) a ladle at a time, and allowing each ladle-full to be absorbed by the rice before adding the next. When you have about 1/3 stock left, throw in the zucchini cubes to allow them to just cook. Keep adding stock, and finally the zucchini, to your risotto until it is oozing. Remove from heat. Tear up your mozzarella or bocconcini into the risotto and stir it through along with the chopped mint leaves. Stir through half the parmesan, season with salt and pepper and adjust seasoning to your taste. Serve up with plenty of mint, parmesan and chilli sprinkled on top, and a good lug of olive oil.
This recipe was adapted from and inspired by Jamie Oliver’s 20 Minute Meals app for iPhone.