Saturday, 21 March 2015

Root Veg Risotto

When I received my first organic veg box from Riverford, I realised two things - one, that I didn't really know what to do with root vegetables; two, that I now had a lot of root vegetables in my house. The root vegetables in question were parsnips, carrots and Jerusalem artichokes (which I had never heard of before) - but other root vegetables include potatoes, sweet potatoes, swedes, turnips, yams etc. These were the vegetables that my parents used to persuade me to eat, and as a result, some of the last vegetables that I came to like as an adult.

Trying to find a recipe more interesting than stew (which was my go-to thought for root veg), I came up with the Root Veg Risotto:

Filling, tasty and full of goodess (for example - carrots are great for your eyesight, and are thought to be great for your skin, gums and to prevent a lot of diseases), the risotto perhaps isn't the most obvious use of root vegetables... but after trawling around on the net for a while and taking inspiration from various recipe pages, it was what I ended up with - and everyone* enjoyed it!
(*Myself, my husband and one friend who came over for dinner)

To serve 4, you'll need:
1 carrot
1 parsnip
Half a sweet potato
2 Jerusalem artichokes
2 cloves of garlic
Vegetable stock cube (or just a bunch of herbs/spices)
Brown rice (2-3 handfuls per person)
A pinch of coriander
A drizzle of honey
1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds
Optional: A splash of white wine, a little grated cheese

1) Peel your carrot, sweet potato, parsnip and Jerusalem artichokes. Cut them into little cubes or, for a bit of variety, continue peeling and use thin strips of the vegetables rather than chunks.

2) Place the chopped vegetables onto a foil tray and drizzle in olive oil. Place in an oven at around 170C (338 F) for 20 minutes or so. To check if they're ready, prod the sweet potato with a sharp knife. If the knife sinks through without resistance, the vegetables are ready.

3) While the vegetables are in the oven, bring your rice to the boil and leave to simmer for as long as the instructions state. I measure the rice in handfuls as I find that 2-3 are enough for one person, however you are free to make as much or as little as you like!

4) Sprinkle the stock cube into the boiling water/rice pan while it's simmering.

5) Once the veg is ready, heat some oil on a frying pan. Add some garlic (crushed or finely chopped). You could also add some onion or shallots here - it would be nice! I actually added cherry tomatoes, but only because they were going off in my fridge.

6) Drizzle some honey into the frying pan with the vegetables and stir.

7) Drain the rice and pour into the frying pan with all the vegetables. Add the coriander and any other herbs and spices you may feel compelled to add.

8) Optional - if you're feeling a bit fancy, add a splash of white wine and/or a little grated cheese into the mix!

9) Serve and enjoy!

I made it a second time, adding sundried tomatoes and spring greens. To be honest, you can add whatever you want in here - risotto is a great way to use up those vegetables that might be going off!

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