Here is the recipe for the risotto we had yesterday. I halved a recipe that was supposed to serve 5-6 as a starter, but half would actually easily serve 4 as a main
I found the recipe in the Guardian.
200g broad beans, Asda frozen ones are £1/750g, or a tin 55p, frozen would be 17p
1 litre stock, I used a chicken stock cube. Asda value are 3p each
1 onion, chopped, 5p
80g butter, £1/250g, 32p
A garlic clove, or equivalent, 5p
150g rice, I used Arborio, Asda £1.50/500g, 45p
A glass of white wine, I used cider, about 40p
A good handful of mint, leaves only, fine chopped, from the garden
40g Parmesan, Asda £2.50/150g, 66p
Total cost of £2.13 if you buy everything
Serves 4, 53p a portion
Per portion, 370 calories, 38g carbs, 14g fat, 8g protein, 4g fibre
I’m not sure about using dried mint in this, so if you don’t have any in the garden, maybe just leave it out.
If you have broad beans in the garden, and/or peas, this will further cut the cost of the finished dish. I didn’t skin my beans as they were young and fresh from the garden, if you use frozen ones, they will probably need to be skinned as although they are small, they tend to be old ones.
DP only had a good bottle of white wine, which he didn’t want me to use, so he gave me some cider to use instead and that was fine. It does add flavour, but you could leave it out altogether if funds are too tight.
I use a kilo jar of garlic I got from an Asian shop for £2.69, which makes each clove equivalent very cheap.
If Parmesan is beyond the budget, cheddar would work well here
I haven’t yet tried it, but many people say that you get a very decent risotto with value rice, which would trim another 40p or so
Put the onion in a saucepan with the butter and sauté until transparent. Add the rice and stir around until it too is transparent.
Meanwhile, boil the kettle. Now, add the stock cube and the wine or cider. Simmer until absorbed. Now add a ladleful of hot water. Stir every minute or so until the water is more or less absorbed. The stirring helps to release the starch from the rice and give it that lovely creamy texture.
Keep adding the hot water and stirring until the rice is cooked. Risotto needs to be very moist, not dry like a rice accompaniment. So leave enough moisture in there. Meanwhile cook the broad beans and peas.
Once the rice is cooked, add the cooked veg and half the Parmesan.
Serve immediately with the remaining Parmesan. We had some walnut bread with this, spread with a little butter. Garlic bread would be lovely. Or how about some lovely fresh lettuce leaves from the garden, or a big bowl of mixed salad veg. A lemon and mint vinaigrette would be yum, maybe with a little chilli very finely chopped through.
I had one portion of this as lunch the next day. I expected it to be pretty solid, but it was still moist with lots of movement, and completely delicious.
This basic recipe can be adapted to absolutely any veg you have. You could use a lovely home made veg or chicken stock. Instead of broad beans and peas, you could use some roasted carrots and onions, or fine sliced fennel, or beetroot roasted with thyme, or roasted celery, or roasted courgette.
Red wine would look very different, but would taste lovely with the robuster flavours.
You could add shreds of chicken, pork or beef
If you want to use fish, Italians would never team cheese with it, but if that’s what you like, it’s your dinner, so do what you want.
Fish combinations could include those packs of fish pie mix that supermarkets sell, or some value prawns and a fillet of white fish.
The herb can also be varied of course dependent on what you have. Use any combination that pleases you.
Risotto can be used much like soup to use up scraps of this and that from the fridge
Thrifty Lesley has an associated Facebook Group. Do come over and say hello if you haven’t already joined. I’d love to see you
I’m a perpetual dieter, and to help with that endeavour, there is now also a Thrifty Lesley dieting group, a lovely, growing community