I'm sat here today trying to write, but what is mainly occupying my mind is how to give the kids a decent tea in the one hour window we have between getting home from school and leaving for swimming lessons. I want something that can be made in advance and simply warmed through as we walk through the door, will be eaten with minimal fuss, yet still fill them with goodness and stop them from hankering after cakes from the leisure centre coffee shop. Let me tell you, this struggle is real and I suspect that I might be asking for the moon on a plate, but perhaps today's recipe might just tick off a few of these boxes with the added bonus of any leftovers being able to be transformed into risotto balls tomorrow, leaving us with zero food waste. Its almost too good to be true.
I do love risotto, but hate the continual stirring that is required with the traditional method. This option is great as you simply pop it in a pan and let the oven do the work.The recipe is one where you can add in any veg that you like, depending on what you have available and the time of the year. Courgettes or celery work well and, if you fancy adding a bit of meat, so do cubes of chicken pieces or lardons/bacon bits. Just cook them in a separate pan and add them at the end.
I'm making this version with cherry tomatoes and peas. Firstly because we had a huge batch of tomatoes this year from the garden and secondly, because they are two vegetables that I know the kids will eat. (I refer you back to my earlier point on minimal fuss).
2 tbsp olive oil
One large onion - chopped
One large carrot - chopped
Two cloves of garlic - finely chopped
460g cherry tomatoes - cut in half
200g frozen peas
300g arborio rice
900ml of good quality gluten-free stock (I use vegetable with a splash of white wine)
50g of grated parmesan cheese
1. Pre heat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4/350°F
2. At the same time, pop the halved tomatoes onto a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste. put these into the oven for approximately 20 minutes.
3. Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan (preferably one with a lid) on the hob before cooking the onion and carrot for a few minutes. Add the garlic and cook until the onion and carrot are soft and the onion is translucent.
4. Add the rice to the pan and stir to coat. Then add the stock and bring to the boil.
5. Give the mixture a quick stir (to avoid the rice sticking) before popping a lid onto the pan and putting in the oven for approximately 20 minutes. Stir the mixture halfway during this cooking time.
6. In a separate pan, cook the peas in boiling water. Drain and place to one side.
5. Once the rice has cooked, remove from the oven and stir once more. This will get the mixture nice and creamy. Add the tomatoes, peas and parmesan cheese.
6. Serve with extra parmesan cheese and season on your plate.