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What's Cookin'?

A recipe for June

Green summer risotto*

Serves 4-6
Prepare: 15 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes

        Risottos are my (and my familyís) idea of the perfect comfort food and so convenient as there is always the makings of one in the cupboard or veg drawer. I make risottos in all the colours of the rainbow, just by following the basic method and adding a vegetable. Pumpkin, aubergine and courgette are all favourites but this one is a particular favourite.

        You will need:
        • 450g prepared seasonal vegetables (such as small courgettes, podded peas, green beans, broad beans and asparagus tips)
        • 2 tbsp olive oil
        • 2 shallots, finely chopped
        • 1- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
        • 350g arborio risotto rice
        • about 1.5 litres simmering vegetable stock from a cube
        • 100ml dry white wine
        • 50g butter
        • 50g fresh mixed herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley, basil, chives, tarragon, dill or chervil, finely chopped
        • 50g freshly grated Parmesan
        • salt and freshly ground black pepper
        1. Cook the vegetables in simmering water for 2 Ė 3 minutes until almost tender then drain and plunge into iced water to cool. Drain thoroughly and set aside. Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the shallot and garlic and cook for about 3 minutes until softened. Add the rice and stir to coat in the oil.

        2. Add a ladleful of stock and the white wine and simmer over a medium-low heat until the liquid is absorbed, stirring constantly. Continue adding stock, a few tablespoons at a time, stirring frequently, until all the stock is absorbed and the rice is tender and creamy but still with a slight bite. This should take about 20 minutes

        3. While the rice is cooking, place the butter in a blender or food processor with the herbs and seasoning and process until well blended together. When the rice is tender, add the reserved vegetables and cook for another minute or two to heat through. Stir in the herb butter and Parmesan cheese and adjust the seasoning. Serve immediately.

        Busy mumís lifesaver: To get ahead use the chefís tip for risotto and cook up to the stage of adding the rice and first amount of liquid. Then just remove from the heat and set aside. Then when you are ready to serve the risotto reheat the base and complete.

        *Green summer risotto (taken from The Busy Mumís Vegetarian Cookbook by Mary Gwynn Simon & Schuster)!