Monday, August 17, 2020

Spinach and mozzarella risotto - lunch on the table despite a bare fridge

Risoto de espinafre e mozarela / Spinach and mozzarella risotto

A while ago I made a risotto with severaldifferent veggies, using pretty much all there was in my crisper drawer – it turned out delicious and full of good-for-you stuff. This time, it was the complete opposite: the fridge was almost bare, so I reached out to the freezer and made a risotto using frozen spinach, throwing in some cheese to make it better. I never use garlic in risottos, but this time I added a small clove since garlic and spinach are so great together.

I was actually surprised with how good the risotto tasted! Joao is not fond of risotto and this time he had seconds – I was impressed, because that never happens. I always have frozen spinach in my freezer because I use it a lot in soups – like this one – but in a risotto was the first time. I was happy with the results and even happier to have lunch on the table in about half an hour – that is great on the days we clean the apartment. :D

Spinach and mozzarella risotto

own recipe

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ tablespoon olive oil

1/3 cup finely diced celery

½ small onion, finely diced

1 small garlic clove, minced

¾ cup (165g) Arborio or Carnaroli rice

¼ cup (60ml) dry white wine

salt and freshly ground black pepper

100g frozen spinach, thawed

3 cups (720ml) vegetable stock

1 cup (70g) coarsely grated yellow mozzarella*

2 tablespoons coarsely grated parmesan

In a medium saucepan, melt half the butter and olive oil. Add the celery and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute – do not let it burn or it will turn bitter. Add the rice and cook for about 2 minutes, to coat all the rice grains with fat. Add the wine and cook until it evaporates. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the spinach. Start adding the stock, 1 ladle at a time, then stirring constantly so the rice releases its starch.

Repeat this until all the stock has been used, the rice is al dente and the risotto is thick and glossy – about 20 minutes. Stir in the remaining butter and the cheese. Check the seasoning, adjust if necessary, cover the pan and wait 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

* the yellow mozzarella I used is not like fresh mozzarella balls, therefore it does not release too much liquid. Replace by cheddar or something similar texture wise.

Serves 2 

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