Friday, 22 July 2011

Lemon, Spinach and Ricotta Risotto

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Multicultural Influence of...Italy



So, this gluten free thing actually really isn't as hard as I thought it'd be. I must admit, after watching my sister stick to a gluten free diet for the past few years and listening to her complain about how crap the bread and pasta and other gluten free food is, I was more than a little concerned. But once I realised I could still eat rice, I was a lot more relieved. Take proper, good old fashioned pasta away from an Italian girl, and you have a problem. Take risotto too, and it's just a disaster. 

I've been eating a bit of rice pasta, which is actually no where near as horrible as I was led to believe - as long as you don't over cook it, it's actually quite nice! As for the risotto, I'm glad to report nothing's changed there, I can still cook that as normal! But I felt like being a bit adventurous after stumbling upon a post from Honest Cooking - a lemon risotto with mint and ricotta. I decided to try it without the mint, and with a bit of spinach, and a side of roast veggies. Here's how we went...

Some diced mushrooms, eggplants and zucchinis on an oven tray, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkled with some basil and salt, into a moderate oven until they start to brown (about 20 minutes).


For the risotto itself, I used:
  • 1 cup of arborio rice
  • 50g butter
  • half a diced onion
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • juice from 1 large lemon
  • 3 handfuls of baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped

First, melt the butter in a medium pot over medium heat


Add in the onions and cook until they begin to become see through.


Add the rice in and stir to coat with the butter and onion mixture.


Add the wine to the pan, stirring for a few minutes until the liquid begins to become absorbed, then add in a cup of the chicken stock. Add more stock as needed, stirring gently and occasionally until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked through.


Once the rice is cooked through, add in the spinach and stir until wilted.


Take the pot off the heat and stir in the cheeses, stirring to combine.


Next, add in the lemon juice and stir to combine, and season with some salt and pepper.


Out of the oven with the veggies, and onto the plate with it all!


Perfectly creamy, thanks to the ricotta, with a little bit, thanks to the lemon. I really loved the texture the spinach provided, and think next time for yet another texture I'll add in some toasted pine nuts.


It was a perfectly warm and comforting winter meal - and best of all, gluten free, so I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything! Delicious :)

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