The base to most risotti is fairly universal – rice, a good dash of quality olive oil, some wine and a robust stock. It’s what you choose to stir through that makes things exciting. Be imaginative, get creative and be guided by the seasons.
Here are six deliciously light and healthy risotto recipes to try your hand at this autumn…
Let radicchio be the star in this northern Italian risotto that highlights this bitter and flavoursome lettuce. Stir through the chopped magenta-coloured leaves, and add plenty of fresh parsley and a small sprinkling of low-fat grated parmesan.
2. Fresh peas and lemon
Cut through the rice’s natural creaminess with a good squeeze of lemon and a handful of freshly shelled peas. You can stir through the zest of the lemon for some added zing. For a more intense texture and flavour, you can add in some finely sliced, cored Brussels sprouts.
3. Silverbeet, celery and pumpkin
Let the colours do the talking in this healthy risotto that makes the most of what’s in season. Start with celery, add the pumpkin and stir through the silverbeet at the end until just wilted. Throw in some toasted pine nuts for extra crunch.
4. Mushrooms every which way
Mushrooms are in great form around April and May and you can really experiment with varieties. From oyster or shiitake to simple button mushrooms or dried porcini, everything marries well in a risotto. Throw in some chervil and a handful of low fat grated parmesan to finish.
5. Broad beans and mint
Home grown broad beans with a bunch of freshly chopped mint will steal the show in this deliciously simple risotto. Add some poached chicken for extra protein or keep it light and plant-based.
6. Roasted cauliflower and chopped walnuts
Cauliflower is back in favour and this roasted variety goes down a treat in a risotto. Chop off the stems and slice for cooking with the risotto. Meanwhile, drizzle oil on the florets and roast until softened. Toast and chop the walnuts and put the whole lot together with a little parmesan and parsley.
Try mixing up your traditional risotto rice by trying brown rice, barley, Israeli couscous, buckwheat, orzo or farro alternatives. Be creative!