No.187 Baked Spinach & Garlic Risotto with Walnut Pesto

More often than not I find myself at a loss about what to prepare on Sunday so I can have something ready to go after work on a Monday evening. This has slowly become one of those dishes. Hearty, full of garlic and an entire bag of spinach. It’s as if your creamed spinach at the steakhouse was a main.

The secret to this recipe is that most of it can done the day before, so on the day you just need to pop it in the oven and put your feet up. It’s not the traditional way of making risotto but your not complaining after the trials of a Monday.

Serves: 4

Time: 15 Minutes Day Before and 30 Minutes on the Day

Difficulty: Straight Forward

Risotto

300g of Risotto Rice

250g of Spinach

1 Onion

3 Garlic Cloves

25ml of Brandy/Whiskey

700ml of Vegetable Stock

3 tablespoons of Cream Cheese

Pesto

50g of Walnuts

50g of Hard Cheese like Lincolnshire Poacher or Pecorino

1/2 clove of garlic

25ml of Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil

Day Before

1. Make the pesto by combining the walnuts and cheese in a food processor to a rough crumb.

2. Grate in the garlic and add the oil. Mix well and store in the fridge in a sealed container.

3. Add the spinach to a pot with a tablespoons of water. Cover and cook on medium until the spinach has wilted.

4. Add the spinach and the stock (needs to be cold or cooled) to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

5. Dice the onion and sweat on medium with a little oil in a large oven proof metal casserole dish . Add the rice and toast for 3 minutes.

6. Deglazed with the brandy. Add the spinach stock mixture and garlic. Bring to a simmer and cover.

7. Keep on a medium heat for 5 minutes. Then remove from the heat and refrigerate when cooled

On the day

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

2. Remove the risotto form the fridge and mix well. Place In the oven for 25-30 minutes covered.

3. Once cooked remove and mix in the cream cheese.

4. Serve with walnut pesto on top.

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