Lazy Cook Risotto


300g risotto rice

700ml chicken or vegetable stock or 550ml of stock and 150ml of white wine

50g grated parmesan

1 medium onion, chopped fine

Tbsp of oil

Some vegetables:

  • 500g of a mix of peas, green beans and broccoli, you could replace the parmesan with soft goat’s cheese
  • 500g of parsnips, chopped small and 5g of fresh rosemary, added at same time as parsnip
  • 600g of pumpkin, cut into small cubes, you can use cheddar instead of parmesan
  • 500g of finely sliced leeks, you can leave out the onion
  • 300g of mushrooms, add a handful of chopped parsley with the cheese.
  • Optional: some chopped garlic added to any of the above

Risotto is such an easy dish to make and a proper comfort food. Serve it with a green steamed vegetable or a salad, winter or summer, you can’t go wrong. And if you have leftovers, you can turn them into arancini, which are the best leftover food, ever!

Now what if, like me, you don’t like standing in front of a hot stove, stirring for what feels like ages? Simple: bung it all in the microwave! Start by putting your oil in a microwave dish with a lid. Always use a lid. I use a glass Pyrex bowl with lid. Add the chopped onion and put it in on high for 1 minute. Then:

  • If you are using a vegetable that takes a little longer to soften (parsnip, pumpkin), put that in next with a third of the stock. As microwave oven can differ, cook it on high for anywhere between 6 and 10 mins. The vegetables should be nearly done. Stir. Add the rice, the wine (if using) and another third of the stock. Cook on high for 6-8min.
  • When using veg that cook faster, start by putting the rice with the onion and one third of the stock. Cook on high for 8-10min. Stir. Add the veg, the wine (if using) and another third of the stock . Cook on high for 8-10min. Stir.

And lastly, add the rest of the stock. Here it comes down to personal taste: if you like a more al dente feel to the rice, add less and cook for a shorter time, if you like a more well done, creamy risotto, add more and cook for longer. Anywhere between 10-12min. Then add cheese and parsley (if using), stir, put lid back on pot and leave for 5min. Serve with some freshly ground black pepper on top.

So don’t be put off by the thought that risotto takes ages and takes lots of stirring, because like this, it doesn’t. And it’s pretty good for the energy budget too!

To make the arancini: just roll the leftover cold risotto into balls a little bigger than a golf ball, push a small cube of cheese inside (Mozzarella works well here), roll in flour, dip in beaten egg and roll in breadcrumbs. Then deep fry until golden brown.

Have you got a favourite risotto recipe? Share it in the comments.


By Ann Owen