Risotto is an easy, economical meal for family and friends. Enjoy this delicious vegetarian version made with mature Cheddar cheese.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 350g (12oz) carnaroli or arborio risotto rice
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 large leek, thinly sliced
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
- 200ml (1/3 pint) dry white wine (if you don't want to use wine, add another 1/4 pint of stock - see below)
- 2 vegetable stock cubes, dissolved in 900ml (1 1/2 pints) hot water
- 225g (8oz) mushrooms, wiped and sliced
- 75g (3oz) frozen petit pois or garden peas, thawed
- 100g (4oz) vegetarian mature farmhouse Cheddar cheese, finely grated
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Basil or fresh herb sprigs, to garnish
Heat the olive oil in a very large frying pan. Add the rice and sauté it gently for about 3 – 4 minutes, until it looks glossy. Add the onion, leek and pepper and cook gently, stirring often, for a few more minutes.
Add the wine to the frying pan and allow it to bubble up, then cook gently until it has been absorbed, stirring frequently.
Ladle about one quarter of the stock into the rice, stir, then let the rice simmer gently until the liquid has been absorbed.
Add the mushrooms to the risotto with another ladleful of stock. Cook gently, adding more stock as needed until the rice is tender, it will take about 20 – 25 minutes to cook in total.
Stir in the peas and Cheddar cheese, season to taste with salt and pepper, stir well and serve, garnished with basil or fresh herb sprigs.
Be sure to grate the Cheddar very finely, so that it melts quickly and easily into the risotto. Serve the risotto with a bowl of finely grated Cheddar - so each person can sprinkle extra on top of their portion.