Special Vegetarian Risotto

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This is a an amazing vegetable risotto made with real saffron which gives it a wonderfully bright colour. A vegetarian meal in itself.

Melanie Booth

Ingredients
Serves: 4 

  • generous pinch of saffron
  • 2 cups (500ml) boiling water
  • 80g butter
  • 1 red capsicum
  • 220g tinned whole button mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 medium red onions
  • 1 cup (220g) risotto rice
  • 170g fresh or frozen peas
  • 3 medium sized tomatoes
  • 55g slivered almonds
  • 1 cup (125g) cheddar cheese, or less
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Directions
Preparation:25min  ›  Cook:35min  ›  Ready in:1hour 

  1. Cut capsicum into strips, drain mushrooms, crush the garlic, chop the parsley, chop the onions and grate the cheddar.
  2. Put the tomatoes in a bowl of boiling water and leave for a few minutes. Remove the tomatoes, skin them, then chop them into rough quarters.
  3. Lightly toast the almonds on a high heat (with no oil).
  4. Crush the saffron in a mortar and pestle and put it in the boiling water. Leave it to soak while the recipe is being prepared (the water will become dark yellow).
  5. Heat half the butter in a large wok or frypan and fry the red capsicum, mushrooms and garlic gently for 5 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside.
  6. Fry the onion in the remaining butter for a few minutes, mix in the rice and then add the saffron water. Bring to the boil. Cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
  7. Add the peas, tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste (be aware the cheese will make it a bit saltier) and simmer covered for a further 5 minutes.
  8. Add the nuts, cheese, parsley, the reserved mushrooms and peppers, and stir until thoroughly mixed and the rice is fully cooked.
  9. Serve with parmesan and fresh parsley.

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