Courgette and asparagus risotto with pine nuts, basil and lemon

Photo from the Genius Gluten-Free Cookbook

This risotto makes a fresh-tasting alternative to your pre-race pasta. Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne, chef and Genius Gluten-Free founder, recommends sautéeing the vegetables until just al dente, so they keep their vibrant colour.


Why is this great for runners?

Risotto rice is an unprocessed, naturally gluten-free grain. High in carbohydrates, it's ideal for a post-race meal or as part of your carb-loading.

Pine nuts are a great source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. They're also rich in Vitamin K, which is essential for wound healing and bone health.

Courgette provides a source of Vitamin C to boost your immune system and counts as one of your five-a-day.


Ingredients

Serves 6

6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

450g medium courgettes, thinly sliced

400g fresh asparagus spears, tough stalks removed, cut into 2.5 cm lengths

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1.2 litres chicken or vegetable stock

400g risotto rice (Arborio or Carnaroli)

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 tbsp finely sliced mint

1 tbsp finely sliced basil

50g pine nuts, toasted

Finely grated Parmesan or vegetarian/vegan alternative, to serve


1/ Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and quickly sauté the courgettes, seasoned with salt and pepper, until just tender. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon.

2/ If needed, add another 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan, and sauté the asparagus until just tender. Add to the sautéed courgette and set aside.

3/ Put the onion in the same pan, season with salt and pepper, and gently fry until it is soft but not coloured. Add the chopped garlic and fry for a further 30 seconds.

4/ Meanwhile, heat the stock to a simmer in a separate, large pan and turn the heat to low.

5/ Stir the rice into the onion mixture over a low heat until all the grains are coated and the rice becomes shiny and translucent.

6/ Start to add the simmering stock, a ladleful at a time. Allow each ladle of stock to be absorbed before adding the next. Once all the stock has been added (this will take 20–30 minutes), test the rice. It should be tender with bite.

7/ Stir in the lemon zest and juice, followed by the mint, basil and pine nuts. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed, then stir the sautéed courgette and asparagus into the rice. To serve, spoon into warm bowls and serve with freshly grated Parmesan.


Recipe taken from the Genius Gluten-Free Cookbook by Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne. Read more about Genius' gluten-free breads, cakes and pastries here.