Tuesday 13 April 2021


WOW, WOW, WOW. There are great home cooked dishes and then there are those rare cooking efforts that are truly restaurant worthy and this flavour packed green risotto with a wonderful roast hazelnut, parmesan and sesame oil pesto and the most creamy yet tangy whipped goats cheese is just that! 

Outdoor restaurant dining may be possible again in the UK from this week but if you haven't managed to get a booking, popular restaurants are literally booked out till June (or when the next lockdown will hit as the cynic in me thinks), this a pretty spectacular dish to serve up your nearest and dearest for an al fresco dinner in your garden, on your balcony or wherever you can find a bit of outdoor space close to your kitchen so you can host while being Covid safe of course!


Serves 2


  • 50g kale, any tough stalks removed
  • 50g green aspargus
  • 50g fresh parsley
  • 50g baby spinach
  • 75ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve

  • 100g hazelnuts
  • 3 tbsp freshly grated parmesan 
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • A few drops toasted sesame oil
  • Dash red wine vinegar

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 200g risotto rice
  • 100ml dry white wine
  • 450-550ml vegetable stock
  • 100g soft goat’s cheese
  • 3 tbsp double cream
  • 50g butter
  • Juice ½ lemon


  • Heat the oven to 200°C.
  • To make the green purée, bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the kale and asparagus for 3 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold running water. 
  • Put in a blender or food processor with the parsley, spinach, olive oil and plenty of seasoning, then blend until smooth.
  • For the hazelnut pesto, put the nuts on a lipped baking tray and bake for 5-10 minutes until golden. 
  • Cool a little, then coarsely chop by hand..
  • Put in a small bowl and stir in the grated cheese, olive oil, sesame oil and vinegar. 
  • Season to taste and set aside.
  • For the risotto, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saucepan. 
  • Add the onion and cook over a medium heat for a few minutes until softening but not coloured. 
  • Add the garlic and cook for another minute. 
  • Stir in the rice and cook for another minute, then pour in the wine and let it bubble until almost completely reduced.
  • In a separate saucepan, heat the vegetable stock until simmering. 
  • Add the stock to the rice (you might not need it all), a ladleful at a time, stirring. 
  • Let the rice absorb most of the added stock before adding the next ladleful.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix the goat’s cheese, cream and a glug of olive oil until smooth. 
  • Season with salt and pepper, then set aside.
  • Once the rice is al dente (cooked but with some bite), stir in the green purée and warm through. 
  • Stir in the butter to give the risotto a shine, then season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. ry.
  • Divide the risotto among serving plates and top with dollops of goat’s cheese and a scattering of pesto. ENJOY!

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