Young, tender leaves of baby spinach have a vivid colour and an extra-fresh flavour that is packed with goodness. Try this risotto for a healthy supper that requires little from the cook except stirring.
Emerald Risotto is a vegan meal, but for a non-vegan dish you can add 2-3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese before serving.
2 pints vegetable stock, or 4 tablespoons vegetable bouillon powder
5 tablespoons white wine
1/2 pound baby spinach
4 tablespoons virgin olive oil
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
3/4 pound risotto rice (arborio, Camaroli or vialone)
Salt and black pepper
Whole nutmeg for grating
1. Bring the stock to the boil in a saucepan, or stir the bouillon powder into 2 pints of boiling water. Add the wine, reduce the heat and leave to simmer.
2. Rinse the spinach leaves, chop them roughly and set them aside.
3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or wok. Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic and fry them gently for 2 - 3 minutes until soft but not brown. Then add the rice and stir-fry until the grains are translucent and coated with oil.
4. Add a ladleful of stock, adjust the heat to maintain a gentle boil and stir until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Keep adding stock, a ladleful at a time, and stir constantly for about 15 minutes, until the rice is almost cooked.
5. Add the spinach and more stock and boil and stir until the rice is cooked - risotto rice should retain a bite, but the mixture should be of a soft, dropping consistency
6. Season to taste with salt, pepper and some freshly grated nutmeg. Serve straight from the pan.
Serving suggestion - Add a mixed-leaf salad and some walnut or olive bread.