Risotto is one of my all-time favourite Italian recipes – you can keep your pizza and pasta, just pass me a bowl of this delicious kale pesto and seasonal green risotto and I’m good to go.
Made using seasonal greens and finished with a swirl of my punchy home-made kale pesto, this risotto is the best of both worlds. You get the creaminess from the rice and stock (plus an overly generous splash of white wine) with crunchy and sweet seasonal greens and then finished with that sharp, nutty and almost bitter kale pesto that just adds another level of flavour to this already wonderful dish.
You can serve this for lunch or dinner, swap and change the greens depending on what you have to hand and even make it vegan-friendly by swapping the stock and dairy products for your favourite alternatives.
Risotto is one of those dishes that takes a little care and attention but is super simple to do and the extra effort is 100% worth it. Trust me.
KALE PESTO AND SEASONAL GREEN RISOTTO
Makes: 4 portions. Time to make: 1 hour.
2 spring onions, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 leek, diced
1/2 courgette, diced
75g of frozen peas, thawed
a handful of kale
2 sprigs rosemary
300g risotto rice
1 garlic clove, crushed
900ml hot vegetable stock
a good glug of white wine
salt and pepper
2tsp olive oil
1tbsp of butter
kale pesto (find the recipe here)
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add in your garlic, spring onion and celery and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add your risotto rice and cook over low-medium heat, stirring constantly and allowing the rice to ‘crack’ to around 1-2 minutes or until it looks glossy.
Pour in a good splash of white wine, stir through the rice and allow to evaporate.
Add in your peppers, courgette and leek and stir through. Then put in 1/4 of your stock and stir through until combined. Leave for 8-10 minutes or until you run your spoon through the middle and it slowly lava’s it way back to the centre.
Stir, then add in another 1/4 of your stock and stir through. Add in your rosemary sprigs and leave for a further 8-10 minutes or until it lava’s back.
Add in the rest of your stock until the rice has fully absorbed the liquid. Check to see if the rice is cooked, by tasting. It should have a slight bite to it but shouldn’t taste hard. Add more water if it needs to cook more in the same way you were doing before, adding little splashes, stirring and allowing the risotto to absorb 3/4 of the way before adding more.
Add your peas, and stir through. Then remove from the heat. Add in your butter and stir through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Split between four bowls then stir 1tbsp of kale pesto through each portion, top with parmesan (optional) and enjoy.