Watercress risotto with goat’s cheese and bacon

Watercress risotto with goat’s cheese and bacon
  • Serves icon Serves 4 as a main or 6 as a starter
  • Time icon Hands-on time 1 hour

The addition of crispy bacon, crumbled goat’s cheese and a zesty pesto made with watercress, anchovies and garlic takes this risotto from a weeknight dinner to a special dinner party dish.

From more goat’s cheese galore, check out this gooey risotto.

Nutrition: For 6

Calories
392kcals
Fat
14.6g (4.6g saturated)
Protein
16.7g
Carbohydrates
41.8g (1.1g sugars)
Fibre
1.4g
Salt
1.3g
Calories
392kcals
Fat
14.6g (4.6g saturated)
Protein
16.7g
Carbohydrates
41.8g (1.1g sugars)
Fibre
1.4g
Salt
1.3g

Ingredients

  • 100g watercress, plus a handful reserved leaves
  • 1 anchovy fillet in oil, drained
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Grated zest and juice ½ lemon
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 200g smoked bacon lardons
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 300g arborio rice
  • 200ml dry white wine
  • 1 litre chicken stock, hot
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan
  • 30g soft goat’s cheese
  • 20g shelled pistachios, toasted in a dry frying pan

Method

  1. Put the watercress, anchovy, garlic and lemon zest and juice in a small food processor and whizz to a paste. Add the olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then whizz again to make a coarse watercress pesto. Set aside.
  2. In a dry medium saucepan, fry the bacon on a medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes until crisp, then using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper. Reserve the bacon fat in the pan.
  3. Add the shallots to the saucepan with a splash of oil and fry for 4-5 minutes until translucent. Add the rice and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add the wine and bubble for 2 minutes or until reduced by three quarters.
  4. Add the hot stock, a ladleful at a time, adding the next ladle only when the previous one has been absorbed. Stir every few minutes until all the stock has been added and the rice is tender with some bite. This will take around 25-30 minutes.
  5. Stir in the watercress pesto, the parmesan, crispy bacon and most of the reserved watercress. Serve topped with blobs of goat’s cheese, the toasted pistachios and the remaining watercress leaves.

delicious. tips

  1. No small food processor? Chop the pesto ingredients finely, put in a bowl, then work in the oil with a wooden spoon.

  2. Make the pesto up to 12 hours in advance and keep covered in the fridge.

  3. Pick a dry white witha herby hint, such as an Italian gavi, or make it a white-peppery Austrian grüner veltliner.

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