It’s always around this time that I get so excited about slow-cooked things. Popping the oven on, which helps heat the house, putting in a big dish of something savoury and delicious, and filling the place with gorgeous smells.
Now I’m a huge advocate for cooking risotto the proper way – lots of stirring and stuff, but now and then I’m partial to baking it and letting it do its own thing while I do mine. I’m consciously trying to do less and just ‘be’ these days… time with real little ones goes so fast, and I want to be present and really enjoy it. Well, present for the good stuff, I definitely go elsewhere in my head when it’s time to fold the washing or mop the floor! UGH.
As with any risotto dish (and any recipe of mine, let’s face it!) you can use any veg you currently have laying about. This is excellent for using up bits and pieces before market day, or you can specifically choose something beautiful for the sole purpose of the dish. This was definitely the former for me, as I’m trying very hard to cut back on waste, and sad veggies at the bottom of the crisper was/is my number-one issue. I’m gettin’ em before they go bad!
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
400g risotto rice
100ml white wine
1 litre stock (you may need a little more, especially when stirring it before serving to help loosen)
whatever veggies you want, chopped small. I used carrot, celery, zucchini and squash
1 cup grated fresh parmesan
knob of butter
1. In an oven-safe lidded casserole, saute onion, garlic, carrot and celery gently in butter and olive oil until translucent.
2. Add rice, wine, and stock. Put lid on and place in a pre-heated 180C oven.
3. Bake for 30-40 mins. You can stir in intervals if you want, but I didn’t bother. Add zucchini and squash 10 minutes before the rice is done.
4. Remove when risotto is soft and cooked to your liking. With a wooden spoon, beat the risotto until it loosens and becomes smooth. You may need some water or extra stock.
5. Add parmesan and butter. Check for seasoning. Add any fresh herbs you want.
6. Serve with extra parmesan and herbs on top.