Spring vegetable risotto

An Italian classic dish which puts the spotlight on fresh, seasonal vegetables - one to try for lunch or a light dinner.

Lunch, Italian, Serves 4

Calories per serving: 170 (approx)

Preparation time:5 minutes

Cooking time:30 minutes

Cooking method: Frying

Ingredients

  • 600 ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion/shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 175 g Arborio rice
  • 50 ml apple juice
  • 4-6 asparagus spears (snap the spear where it breaks naturally and slice diagonally into three to four pieces)
  • 100 g tinned haricot beans, drained or 100 g frozen soya beans
  • Small handful peas, frozen/fresh
  • Small handful broad beans, frozen/fresh
  • Small handful mange tout, sliced
  • 25- 50 g parmesan, finely grated

Method

  1. Put the stock in a pan and simmer very gently. Heat the olive oil in a separate frying pan.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and soften, but avoid browning. Add the rice and cook for one to two minutes, stirring all the time.
  3. Add the apple juice and boil until it evaporates.
  4. Add a ladleful of stock and let it absorb, stirring. Add more stock as required a ladleful at a time (this will take about 20 minutes in total).
  5. When about two thirds of the stock has been added to the rice put the soya beans, peas, broad beans, mange tout and asparagus into the remaining stock in the pan and cook one to two minutes until softened.
  6. Taste the rice and add more stock if needed (there may be some left).
  7. Stir in the vegetables. The risotto should look creamy when it is ready and the rice should retain a little bite to it.
  8. Stir in half the cheese. If desired a small knob of butter can be added to increase the creaminess of the dish. Serve with remaining parmesan if required.