I feel like I have been playing the game of pac man recently where the dots are my time and the dot munchers are everything except things which really allow me to relax and recharge away from the Monday – Friday 9-5pm. However, I can happily say that I made the time today to make this awesome risotto, which I hadn’t done for a while and it gave me some space to think and breathe and function at a slower pace than of late. Risotto is a meal which I got into making a few years back when I had a big rice cooker which I could put everything in. I tend to always go for the same combination of ingredients when I made it (almost always vegetarian) for no specific reason, other than I like the flavour of the spinach and mushroom together and figure the parmesan cheese is enough protein/fat to not add additional with heavy meats. Although I have a vague memory that maybe once or twice I did this dish with bacon or chorizo, way back.
Today, I used one big frypan which was awesome as all ingredients fit, cooks consistently and doesn’t take too much effort to clean up. I had to do away with the rice cooker of old as I found I just had so much crap in the kitchen, it was starting to frustrate me. But ever since I got my large frypan, it has been my staple cooking tool. It has a non stick base which helps things not stick to the pan and risotto is notorious for that. It also has a clear lid so even when things are simmering away you can always keep an eye on whats happening on the stove which is one of my favourite parts of cooking – seeing how things progress along the way. I sometimes sit in front of the oven when I am cooking something in there to have this same level of engagement, but as this was a stove top specialty I will save the story of the oven watching for another day!
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Mushroom and Spinach Risotto ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 bulbs garlic, peeled, crushed
250ml dry white wine *see note below
1 1/2 cups aborio rice
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
2 cups spinach leaves
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
salt and pepper to season
1 tablespoon butter, melted
Mushroom and Spinach Risotto method
- Put splash of olive oil into large frying pan and add garlic
- Pour in rice, followed by wine and fry off for at least 3 minutes
- Add stock, stir to combine then add lid and simmer for 10 minutes, stiring intermittently
- When the rice is cooked, add the mushrooms, thyme and pine nuts
- Turn stove off, add spinach leaves to pan and return lid
- After 5 minutes, take lid off, pour in butter and stir to combine
- Serve with cracked pepper
Interestingly the reason I took to making this dish this weekend was because I wanted to do some meal prep and make aranchini balls for salads next week at work. I set some of the risotto aside for meals and then the rest I turned into balls (with a little gorgonzola in the middle) that I will write about for my next post.
All the talk I heard for this weekend was that it was going to rain. At this stage whilst it looks a little dark and grey out there it still seems pretty dry – go figure. Either way, though my cooking today gave me back something that I had been looking for – time to think, not talk, not listen and best of all be creative. Hope you give the receipe a try and follow by blog. The flavours in the mix are fabulous and it is a nice meatless option for a night you don’t feel like a heavy dish.
**Note, I wanted to add wine to this dish but I am not a huge white drinker and didn’t really want to have 3/4 of a bottle in the fridge as I would likely drink it at some point (as you do). When I was in the bottlo getting some red, a small sashay caught my eye and I realised it was exactly what I was looking for. It had a screw top and was 250ml of dry wine (I noted also that they sell red in the same packaging but it was out of stock at the time). So this will now be my go to for cooking either risottos or seafood as no left over, perfect size for cooking and was cheaper than a bottle of wine too (I think I paid less than $3).
Image 1: Risotto almost done in the pan just before adding the spinach so it doesn’t overcook .
Image 2: My new go to for cooking – white wine sashay
Image 3: Risotto cooked and ready to serve -yum!