Ingredients (serves 4)
• 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
• 100g butter
• 1 large onion
• 1 bay leaf
• 350g Arborio or Carnaroli risotto rice
• 200ml dry white wine such as Verdicchio
• 100g goats’ cheese – diced, plus four slices of goat's cheese for grilling
• 100g sundried tomatoes in oil, drained and sliced
• 50g rocket, chopped
• 25g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1. Heat stock in a pot and simmer. Melt 75g of butter in a frying pan. Add onion and bay leaf and cook until onion is soft. Add rice and stir until the grains are glistening with butter.
2. Add wine and simmer for two minutes until it has evaporated. Add a ladle of hot stock and cook over a moderate heat, stirring until it has been absorbed into the rice. Continue adding stock in this way until all – or nearly all – has been used up and the rice is al dente. This should take around 20 minutes.
3. About five minutes before the risotto is cooked stir in the diced goat's cheese, tomatoes and rocket. Cook for a further three to five minutes, adding stock as needed.
4. Add the remaining butter and the parmesan to the risotto and season to taste. Remove from the heat and cover for one minute.
Adding rice to your diet seems to promote healthier eating habits. People who eat rice tend to eat more vegetables, lean meat and fibre than those who don’t like the grain, according to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Rice eaters therefore have high levels of vital nutrients such as folic acid, potassium and iron than those who don’t consume the grain.
Sundried tomatoes offer a delicious nutritional double whammy of the antioxidant vitamin C and the micronutrient lycopene, which could reduce your risk of heart attack by as much as 50 per cent, according to a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Banish breathlessness by upping your intake of goat’s milk and cheese. The riboflavin (vitamin B2) in goats’ milk plays an important part in oxygen-based energy production, while the high-quality protein is a low-cost, effective way to repair tired muscles. Goat's cheese is also rich in potassium, which could help protect you against heart disease and high blood pressure.
Many thanks to Foolproof Italian Cookery by Aldo Zilli for providing this recipe.