It had been a long time since I had whipped up a risotto, so I decided to rectify that recently. This pesto risotto was the result and it was vibrant, delicious and so simple to make. Perfect to make on a Sunday and have leftovers waiting for you for Meatfree Monday!
I based this on a Good Food recipe
- 100g baby spinach
- 1/2 cup basil leaves
- 1/2 cup parsley leaves
- 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
- 2tbs chives
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 lemon
- 1.2 litres of stock
- Brown onion
- 1tbs oil
- 300g arborio rice
- 200ml white wine
- Parmesan to serve (or vegan alternative)
- Make the pesto by combining the spinach, basil, parsley, walnuts and chives in a food processor then add the minced garlic and the zest and juice of the lemon. Pulse to combine
- Add 1/2 cup of stock and blitz until smooth, season with salt and pepper and set aside
- Pour the remaining stock into a small saucepan and leave simmering
- Mince the onion
- Heat the oil in a heavy based pan and cook the onion until translucent
- Add the rice and toss to coat in the onion, then pour in the wine and stir while it is being absorbed
- Add the stock a ladleful at a time over medium heat, stirring regularly, and repeat as the stock is absorbed
- When all the stock is absorbed and the rice is just tender, pour in the pesto and some parmesan and stir to combine
- Top with additional parmesan, cracked pepper and fresh herbs
Like all risottos, this pesto risotto does require some hands on attention while it’s cooking. I do love however that because the pesto is prepped and ready first, you have nothing else you need to multitask with while you’re cooking the rice. It’s therefore one of the most stress free risottos to make!
I also love that this pesto risotto is packed with greens as well as flavour! It feels more like a lighter, Spring appropriate dinner option in my books. I also found it reheated well so worked great as.a make-ahead dinner, and I’m sure would be delicious if turned into arancini too!
If you prefer pine nuts in your pesto then absolutely swap them in for the walnuts, I just find them an expensive option for a pesto that is going to be stirred through a risotto. If you leave out the cheese (or swap it for something like nutritional yeast) then this is an easy vegan friendly option too!