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'Mean as' risotto

Serves   4
Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 35 mins

"In the past I've had trouble keeping this risotto in the fridge -- my flatmates would sneak in late at night and finish any leftovers. Whole toasted pine nuts are the same size as Arborio rice grains, and give the dish amazing texture as well as flavour."

  • Vegetarian



  • 1 1/2 cups of Arborio rice
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 Tbsp of butter
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1.5 L of chicken (or vegetable) stock
  • 1/4 cup of pine nuts
  • 1 cup of chopped spinach
  • 100g of feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup of chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • Black pepper to taste
  1. Lightly toast the pine nuts in a pan (no oil), stirring often for roughly 2-3 minutes on medium heat, until lightly browned. Set these aside.
  2. Finely mince the shallots, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and spinach. Set the spinach and tomatoes aside for now.
  3. Pour the chicken stock into a saucepan and bring to a low simmer while browning the shallots and garlic.
  4. Melt the butter in a separate saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots, cook for 1 min, then add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Stir frequently to make sure the shallots stay tender, and the garlic does not burn.
  5. Add the rice, stirring to coat it with butter, and cook it for a minute or two until the rice starts to go slightly golden.
  6. Add the wine, and stir until absorbed
  7. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the heated stock about a half a cup at a time, every minute or two. The rice shouldn't be swimming in boiling stock, nor sitting dry in the pan. Getting risotto cooked correctly is something of an art, so test it as you go. At the end it should be 'al dente', which is neither soft nor hard, but still slightly firm.
  8. When 1 L of stock has been added, stir in the spinach and oregano
  9. When all the stock has been added, stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts.
  10. Crumble in the feta and add pepper to taste. Since the stock, tomatoes, and feta are all quite salty, no additional salt should be needed, but this depends on your ingredients. Add a little if it really needs it.
  11. Enjoy as the perfect side to go with your favourite protein.