Guest Post: Monday Night Risotto

Things have been a little stressful in the Bryson household since the firefighter snapped his achilles tendon, so I’ve invited a rather marvellous guest blogger over for tea to relieve the pressure!

Thanks Claire for giving me some breathing space this week…

Katie has asked us at Crumbs Feed Your Family over for a playdate, and we’re trying not to get over-excited!

It got me thinking about the food you serve at playdates and why it’s a minefield. I always find that fishfingers and sausages are winners. Show me a child who doesn’t like sausages, and I’ll show you a vegetarian alien come to earth disguised as a playdate.

Even things such as cheese on toast can get tricky. Most kids like cheese but I know a few who will only have it melted/unmelted – I can never remember which and invariably get it wrong.

Whatever you do, don’t serve this risotto to a playdate. I did on Monday and got an immediate “I’m not eating that!”. He ended up munching quite happily on toast and butter (another surefire winner, not sure about the nutritional value though) while the other parents, me and my kids devoured this.

It takes ten minutes to prepare, and then just pop it in the oven. You can vary the veg according to what you like/have in the fridge. It’s a perfect Monday night supper for you and your partner, or a nutritious lunch for you and the kids.

It’s an adapted Bill Grainger recipe

Monday night risotto
Serves: 4
Start to finish: 10 minutes prep, 30 mins in the oven

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp sea salt
180g arborio rice
375ml chicken stock or water
400g tin chopped tomatoes
one large sweet potato, or the equivalent weight in other veg. Bill recommends courgette, I think anything you have in the fridge which you think will be cooked after 30 mins in the oven. Alternatively, par-cook the veg first
Twig of rosemary
30g grated Parmesan
50g mozarella (optional), chopped into little nuggets
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsps finely chopped flat leaf parsley or basil
shavings of Parmesan for serving

Preheat oven to 200 degree C. Peel and chop sweet potato into small chunks. Par-boil for 5 minutes, drain.

Heat a 3 litre ovenproof dish (with a lid) over a medium heat. Add olive oil, onion, salt and stir for five minutes, or until onion is soft and translucent.

Add rice to the dish and stir for another minute. Add stock/water and chopped tomatoes. Bring to simmering. Stir in sweet potato, parmesan and black pepper. Add rosemary and stir in little nuggets of mozarella. Put the lid on the dish, put in the oven for 30 minutes (or until the rice is cooked). Scatter parsley/basil and Parmesan shavings over the top and serve.

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About Katie Bryson

Katie Bryson is a freelance food writer and blogger. She left a career in online news at the BBC to immerse herself in the culinary world, taking in courses at Leiths School of Food and Wine and an internship at Waitrose along the way. Her family food blog www.feedingboys.co.uk is bursting with recipes and tips for feeding hungry families that’ll help inspire all those frazzled parents out there wondering what on earth to cook for tea! She lives in West London with her two young boys and yes, her firefighter husband.
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