Green risotto with hazelnut pesto
- February 2018
- Serves 8 (or 4 as a main dish)
- Hands-on time 25 min, simmering time 20 min
This incredible risotto recipe is brought to you by Sparrow restaurant owners, Terry Blake and Yohini Nandakumar. The clean-tasting spinach risotto is topped with soft dollops of whipped goat’s cheese and a hazelnut and parmesan crumb…It’s restaurant-style food that you can easily achieve within your own kitchen.
- Vegetarian recipes
- 28.3g (10.1g saturated)
- 22.8g (2.1g sugars)
For the green purée
- 50g kale, any tough stalks removed
- 50g fresh parsley
- 50g sorrel or baby spinach
- 75ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
For the hazelnut pesto
- 100g hazelnuts
- 3 tbsp freshly grated parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), plus extra to serve
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- A few drops toasted sesame oil
- Dash red wine vinegar
For the risotto
- 1 tbsp olive oil, plus a glug
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 200g risotto rice
- 100ml dry white wine
- 450-550ml vegetable stock
- 100g soft goat’s cheese
- 3 tbsp double cream
- 50g butter
- Juice ½ lemon
- Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. To make the green purée, bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the kale for 3 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold running water. Put in a blender or food processor with the parsley, sorrel or spinach, olive oil and plenty of seasoning, then blend until smooth.
- For the hazelnut pesto, put the nuts on a lipped baking tray and bake for 5-10 minutes until golden. Cool a little, then coarsely grind in a pestle and mortar with a good pinch of salt (or chop by hand). Put in a small bowl and stir in the grated cheese, olive oil, sesame oil and vinegar. Season to taste and set aside.
- For the risotto, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and cook over a medium heat for a few minutes until softening but not coloured. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the rice and cook for another minute, then pour in the wine and let it bubble until almost completely reduced.
- In a separate saucepan, heat the vegetable stock until simmering. Add the stock to the rice (you might not need it all), a ladleful at a time, stirring. Let the rice absorb most of the added stock before adding the next ladleful. (When the rice is 75% done, you can cool the risotto and finish it later – see Make Ahead.)
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix the goat’s cheese, cream and a glug of olive oil until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside.
- Once the rice is al dente (cooked but with some bite), stir in the green purée and warm through. Stir in the butter to give the risotto a shine, then season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Add a little more stock or water to loosen, if necessary.
- Divide the risotto among serving plates and top with dollops of goat’s cheese and a scattering of pesto. Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice, ground black pepper and extra grated cheese and olive oil.
Make the green purée and pesto a few hours ahead and set aside until needed.
To part-cook the risotto, at step 4 cool it quickly by spreading it out on a baking tray, then chill in a bowl, covered, until required (up to 6 hours ahead). To finish, return the risotto to the pan and continue to cook, stirring in the remaining stock, until the rice is al dente, then continue from step 5.
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