- Olive oil
- Aborio rice (500g)
- White wine (optional)
- Vegetable stock (1L)
- Vegetables of your choice
- Butter (optional)
This is a basic recipe that instructs you how to make risotto, and when to add any types of veggies that you have. We certainly don't recommend adding all of these veggies! In fact, like most Italian cooking, the more simple combinations are usually the best. Some of our favourites are mushroom and thyme, roast pumpkin with pine nuts and feta, cauliflower and chilli, or zucchini with asparagus (or peas) and goats' curd.
- If you have veggies such as pumpkin, sweet potato, or beetroot that you'd like to include in your risotto, cut these veggies up into cubes, drizzle with olive oil, season well and roast in the oven until soft.
- To start the risotto, dice onion and other veggies of your choice such as celery, broccoli or cauliflower stems, chilli, capsicum, fennel, leeks, mushrooms or zucchini. Gently sauté in plenty of olive oil for ten minutes until softened. Add crushed garlic, and any woody herbs like thyme, and sauté for a minute or two longer. Season well.
- Meanwhile, bring 1L of stock to a gentle simmer in a separate saucepan. If you have any veggies that would benefit from blanching, such as asparagus, broccoli or cauliflower florets, beans, or peas, add these to your vegetable stock.
- Turn the heat up a little and add 500g risotto rice to the onions and stir until each grain is coated in olive oil. Add a wine glass of white wine to the rice and stir until the wine is evaporated.
- Use a soup ladle to add your stock to the rice one or two ladles at a time. Stir after each addition until almost all the stock is absorbed, then add the next ladleful. You will need to add and stir for about 15 minutes to ensure a creamy risotto. As you add the stock, if you have any veggies blanching in the stock, these can be added too. Veggies that are added early in the process will end up incorporated into the final risotto, those added towards the end will maintain their shape.
- When you have almost used up all of your stock, add any roast veggies you have, or any fresh veggies such as tomato, baby spinach, and herbs such as basil or parsley.
- Finally, stir through butter and Parmesan cheese, and any other flavourings such as pine nuts or feta cheese, check the seasoning and then allow the risotto to sit for a few minutes before serving.
Oven baked veggie fritters
- Olive oil
- Vegetables of your choice (up to 500g)
- Fresh or dry breadcrumbs (120g)
- Grated cheddar cheese (200g)
- 2 free range eggs
These are great fritters which can include just about any vegetables, and kids love them for their lunch box. This recipe is great because you bake them in the oven, meaning less oil, and also they don't break up as you cook them! The quality of the breadcrumbs you use largely dictates the quality and nutritional value of the final fritter - I generally use fresh sourdough crumbs. Don't try to include too many veggies at once, as simple is usually best. My favourites are broccoli with cauliflower, and zucchini, sweetcorn and basil.
- If you have veggies such as pumpkin, sweet potato, or beetroot that you'd like to include in your fritters, cut these veggies up into small cubes, drizzle with olive oil, season well and roast in the oven until soft.
- If you have any veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, beans, peas or sweetcorn that will benefit from steaming, place these in a steamer over a saucepan and steam until soft.
- To start the fritters, dice onion and sauté in olive oil for a few minutes until softened. Use a food processor (you don't the grater attachment, just the normal blades will do the job) or grater to grate other veggies of your choice such as asparagus, celery, chilli, capsicum, fennel, leeks, mushrooms or zucchini. Add these to the pan with the onions, then add crushed garlic.
- Now add to the empty bowl of the food processor any roasted or steamed veggies you'd like to add to the fritters. Pulse just for a second to break them up a little.
- Add the sautéed veggies, any blitzed roasted or steamed veggies, to a bowl along with the breadcrumbs, eggs and grated cheese. Mix using a large spoon and allow to cool in the fridge for a few minutes.
- Place large spoonfuls onto a tray lined with baking paper. You can also use egg rings to make nice round fritters. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, turning once, or until golden brown.
- When you have a large piece or whole pumpkin, or a kilo or two of sweet potato, chop all of it up at once it into large cubes, drizzle with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Roast all of your pumpkin or sweet potato at the same time. Enjoy some for dinner with your roast meat and other veggies, then save the leftovers for salad, risotto, pasta or soups.
- Fruit is usually in plentiful supply when it's in season. If you have more than you can eat, simply peel your fruit and blend in the food processor. Then pour into ice cube trays and freeze the puree. Once frozen, move the cubes into snap lock bags to enjoy when that fruit is out of season again.
- Eat your veggies in the 'right' order. Leafy greens won't last as long as root vegetables, so eat those early in the week and save your root veggies for later in the week. Green veggies in particular store well in PeakFresh bags, and anything with a stem (such as broccoli, asparagus, herbs, whole lettuce, kale, spinach or spring onions) will keep well stood in a glass of water in the fridge.