Welcome Spring with this beautiful Risotto. It is comforting, satisfying and bursting with flavour. It has the perfect level of creaminess and feels even more indulgent thanks to the burrata. The pesto adds that extra bit of flavour and the rocket some freshness. To sum up, this could become one of your staple dishes as it will leave you wanting more – I’m drooling just looking at the pictures!!!
Risotto is normally served as a starter, although here it takes centre stage as a vegetarian main course – it is just too gorgeous not to! Serve it to impress your guests or just for a cosy tête-à-tête at home – it is perfect for every situation!
If you are a bit in a rush…
…feel free to make the following changes to the recipe:
- Use roasted red peppers from a jar – about 100-120g (1/2 cup).
- Use good quality shop bought pesto.
- Peel the roasted red peppers and blend with some stock while sweating the onions.
Risotto Tips & Tricks
Risotto is a dish that demands respect. It does need a lot of love and attention during the cooking process. Here are a few bits of advice so you can understand the art of making risotto that tiny bit better and turning it into a success every time!
- Keep your stock hot. This will help the rice to cook evenly and absorb the stock perfectly.
- Stirring the rice regularly is a must as the rubbing of the rice grains against each other will release starch and make its consistency beautifully creamy – no need for cream!!! You also want to prevent the rice from burning at the bottom of the pan – and that can happen quite rapidly. Don’t overdo the stirring though as it will add air to the risotto and make it gluey!
- Adding the stock slowly ladle by ladle is important. If you add all the stock in one go, the rice grains don’t get the opportunity to grind against each other.
- Get the right bite! Don’t overcook the risotto as you’ll end up with rice pudding. Although if you can make a shape out of it, you’ve cooked it too little. The perfect risotto has a bit of bite.
- Don’t use a wide pot as this will also have an effect on the grinding of the rice grains, hence the creaminess of your risotto.
- Cook at medium heat with a gentle simmer. A low heat will never properly cook your risotto.
- Add the cheese at the end. Adding it too early will make the fats break which will change the texture of the risotto.
Roasted Red Pepper Risotto with Burrata & Pesto
This is a show of a risotto! It is comforting, satisfying and bursting with flavour! Serve it as a main course as it deserves all the attention.
- 2 red peppers – about 200g
- 500-750ml (2-3 cups) vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion – finely chopped
- 1/2 celery stick – cut in small cubes (brunoise)
- 125g (1/2cup) risotto rice – Carnaroli or Arborio
- 1 garlic – finely chopped
- 60ml (1/4 cup) dry white wine
- 20g (1 1/2tbsp) butter
- 30g (2tbsp) grated parmesan
- 4 tbsp homemade pesto (or good quality shop bought)
- 1 burrata ±100g
- 1 handful rocket leaves – for decoration, optional
- Pre-heat your oven to 220C / fan 200C. Prepare a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Remove the stems, seeds and membranes from your red pepper. Quarter lengthwise. Lay skin side up on the baking tray. Roast for 15-20min until charred and the skin looks all wrinkly. Remove from the oven, put in a bowl and cover with cling film for around 15min.
- In the meantime heat the stock and keep hot without boiling on low heat. You will only need 500ml – I always make more so I’m sure I have enough.
- Take your red peppers, peel them and add to a blender. Add 3 ladles of the hot stock, blend until you’ve got a soup. Set aside. (In order to save time, do step 4 while sweating the onions!)
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan on medium heat. Add the chopped onion and celery, gently fry until soft but not brown – about 8min.
- Add the rice and garlic, fry for another 2-3min, stirring regularly, until some look translucent.
- Add the wine, cook until the liquid is absorbed.
- Add the red pepper ‘soup’ to the rice. Stir often until the liquid is absorbed. Add some salt during the cooking process as you want the salt to be cooked in.
- Now, add 1-2 ladles of stock, stir regularly until absorbed. Repeat this process until your rice has reached your desired consistency – I personally like the rice to be tender with a tiny bit of bite. This should take between 15-20min.
- Take the pan off the heat. Add the butter and Parmesan, stir until nicely melted.
- Serve in shallow bowls. Top with half a burrata each. Add some rockets on top and drizzle with the pesto.