Hearty chestnut risotto

Hearty chestnut risotto

A warming one-pot feast packed with seasonal goodies

Risotto is one of my favourite easy, hearty meals to cook. They tend to take just one pan, so there’s minimum cleanup, and once the ingredients are prepared you can really just leave them simmering. It’s lovely in that the bare bones of the dish are really simple, and you can tweak recipes as you like once you’re comfortable with them.

Chestnuts are a great seasonal ingredient, with a very low fat content, and they’re gluten free as well as packed with vitamin C. I used to feel a little bit overwhelmed by the thought of roasting and shelling the whole nut. Recently I’ve spotted these creamy, nutty beauties in supermarkets tinned or vacuum-packed, making them much easier to use. Give this gorgeous, filling risotto a go: you won’t regret it.

You will need:

  • 1-2tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic (or to taste), diced
  • 100g tinned or vacuum-packed chestnuts, chopped roughly
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme or sage leaves, chopped
  • 35og risotto rice
  • 1l hot vegetable stock
  • Large knob of butter, if you like
  • 4tbsp grated parmesan or alternative, plus extra for serving
    (Serves 4)

Let’s get started!

  1. Warm the olive oil over a medium heat, and add the chopped onions.

  2. Add the chopped garlic and stir gently until the onions are translucent.
  3. Add the risotto rice and stir through until the grains are evenly covered in oil.
  4. Add your herbs and cook the mix for about five minutes.
  5. Pour in the vegetable stock gradually and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring regularly. You’ll see the stock begin to thicken after a few minutes.
  6. When the stock has been absorbed into the rice, stir through the butter and parmesan. You might also like to add a twist or two of black pepper at this stage.
  7. You’re ready to serve! Spoon the risotto between four bowls and add a generous handful of grated parmesan or your chosen alternative. A sprig of parsley or a few leaves of rocket look really nice if you want to go for it presentation-wise!