Green veg risotto
Serves 4 | prep 25 mins | total time
- 2 litres vegetable stock
- 1 large leek, trimmed and washed, green and white parts separated
- 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
- 200g prepared spring greens
- 1 x 28g pack flat-leaf parsley, stalks and leaves separated and chopped
- 100g baby leaf spinach
- 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
- zest and juice of 2 small lemons
- 300g carnaroli or other risotto rice
- 60g grated Parmesan or vegetarian hard cheese, plus extra to serve
Make the green purée and chop the vegetables a few hours ahead.
- Bring the stock to the boil in a large pan with the lid on. Finely slice the white part of the leek. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wide heavy-based pan and add the white leek. Cook over a medium-low heat for 5-7 minutes until softened.
- Meanwhile, roughly chop the green part of the leek, then add to the bubbling stock with half the spring greens and the parsley stalks. Boil, covered, for 5 minutes and then add half the parsley leaves and all of the spinach leaves. Bubble for 1 minute then use a slotted spoon to transfer the greens to a food processor (keeping the stock simmering gently, covered, for the risotto). Season, add the garlic, most of the lemon zest and the remaining oil, whizzing until smooth to make a pesto-like sauce – add some stock if needed.
- Turn up the heat, add the rice to the leeks and cook for 1 minute, before adding the juice of 1½ lemons. Add 2 ladlefuls of the hot stock. Reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally, only adding more stock once the rest has been absorbed. Cook until the rice has softened, making sure it has plenty of bite (about 16-18 minutes); you may not need all the stock.
- Mix in the green purée and remaining spring greens and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat, then mix in the cheese, loosely cover and rest for about 5 minutes before serving; taste and see if it needs the rest of the lemon juice and adjust the consistency as needed; if it’s too dry add a splash more stock or water. Season to taste and divide between 4 bowls, drizzle with a little oil and top with the reserved lemon zest and parsley.