This delicious red pepper and mushroom risotto goes down particularly well as comfort food in the winter, but I enjoy it a lot in the summer as well. As it takes under 30 minutes to cook, it’s a great choice when returning from the beach famished 🙂
INGREDIENTS (serves 2)
900 ml chicken stock (see note below)
1 cup rice (I use Basmati, Jasmin or the Greek ‘Carolina’ variety)
1 medium red pepper, chopped (I use the Greek ‘Florina’ variety – it tastes sweet)
1/2 pack of mushrooms, chopped (I use pleurotus but any common variety will do)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter (you can substitute it with 2-3 more tablespoons of olive oil, if you prefer)
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder (optional)
A sprinkle of cayenne (optional)
1 garlic clove, chopped
Fill the kettle (or boil water) and pour 900 ml in a measuring jug. Dissolve a chicken stock cube in it and stir well. Make sure you have more boiled water at the ready. Best to have it in a kettle so you can flick the switch again towards the end – the water you add to the pot must be hot or at least warm. Risotto should be served with extra water in it as it must be loose. It should also be served immediately, before the rice can absorb the liquid. I like it with a little extra water in it, but it’s up to you 🙂
Fry the garlic in medium heat in the olive oil and butter stirring for just a few moments. Add the curry powder, stir for a few moments.
Add the mushrooms, the red pepper, AND SOME SALT. Stir for 1 minute.
Add the rice. Stir for 1 minute.
Pour about 500ml of the stock. Add BLACK PEPPER. Stir, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Occasionally, check the risotto and add stock as needed so there’s always extra water. When the stock is all used, start adding water from the kettle. Keep the water hot in the kettle by turning it on again once at some point.
Towards the end, uncover to check the consistency. Leave it uncovered as it boils for the last couple of minutes. Add water if needed. The risotto must be running off the spoon loosely.
When there’s just a little extra liquid in the pot and the rice is cooked, your risotto is ready.
Season to taste. Add chopped parsley at the end. Stir well and serve immediately with a green salad. Optionally, add grated cheese or serve with a chunk of cheese of your choice.
Variation #1 – Hot tip: To give your palate a buzz, add lemon zest at the end instead of parsley. Try it and you will thank me! And if you do, omit the grated cheese on top to enjoy the tang of the lemon fully 🙂
Variation #2: Instead of curry, use saffron. In this case, put the saffron during preparation in a shot glass full of boiled water. Let it sit for about 20-30 minutes to release the aroma before adding it to the pot. The saffron should go in towards the end of the meal.
Variation #3: The mushrooms can be omitted. In the pictures I use in this post you can see I omitted the mushrooms and enriched the meal with chopped sun-dried tomatoes instead. Let your imagination run wild and enjoy 😀