Those who know me well, know that I love a good risotto. It is the only dinner related dish that I make consistently, and will order risotto about eight times out of ten when out for dinner. It’s not that I don’t like other things, its just that I really like risotto! I first started making it when I was about 16 or 17, and since then have come up with numerous recipes. Most of the time the ‘recipes’ I come up with are really just my attempt to use ingredients we already have at home. Most of the recipes I make, end up having some proportion of prosciutto, parmesan cheese (or similar) and lots of herbs.
I first made this recipe after having a chicken dish from Nigella Lawson’s book ‘Nigellissima’. This Nigella dish had roasted capsicums and leeks cooked in the same pan as a chicken. To me the vegetables are the best part of the dish, and I thought they would make a good addition to risotto.
I only recently started adding quinoa to my risotto recipes. I thought it was a good idea to make the dish healthier and more filling. To be perfectly honest I’m not a big fan of quinoa, and I have found that adding it to risotto is the only way I can eat it! While the combination of quinoa and capsicums is really nice in this dish, if you can’t stand the idea of eating quinoa (and I totally understand that!), just substitute the quinoa for more arborio rice.
Ingredients for Roast Capsicums:
2 tbsp olive oil
2 red capsicums (larger sized)
2 orange or yellow capsicums (larger sized)
3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
Ingredients for the Risotto:
1 tbsp garlic oil
2 leeks, washed and chopped (white part only)
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup mixed grain quinoa, rinsed
1 cup dry white wine
1 litre (4 cups) chicken stock
8 slices prosciutto (approx.), roughly torn
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (or similar), finely grated
1 bunch basil, washed and roughly chopped (leaves only)
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Cut up capsicums in to thick strips, discarding the seeds. In a large ovenproof dish, place one tablespoon of oil, then add the capsicums. Crush the garlic over the capsicums and drizzle over the remaining olive oil. Toss the capsicums and garlic, so everything is fairly evenly coated with oil. Place in the oven to roast for at least an hour. Keep an eye on the capsicums during this time and move them around in the tray so they cook evenly.
After the capsicums have been roasting for 20 minutes, start the risotto. Heat a large heavy based pan on the stove, on medium heat. Add the garlic oil and leeks, and cook the leeks down until they are soft. Once the leeks have softened, add the arborio rice and quinoa, and stir to coat the grains. Add the white wine and turn the heat down so the wine gently simmers, but does not boil. Allow the wine to be absorbed. Once the wine has been mostly absorbed by the grains, add the chicken stock. Stir briefly to ensure that none of the grains are stuck to the bottom of the pan, then place the lid of the pan on loosely. The risotto should not boil, only gently simmer at the very most. Keep an eye on the risotto and if it starts to boil or simmer too much, turn the heat down. Stir occasionally, and the grains should absorb most of the liquid in about 40 minutes.
Once the capsicums are cooked, leave them in the oven on a low heat to stay warm until ready to add to the risotto.
Once most of the liquid in the risotto has been absorbed (after 30-40 minutes), add the capsicums, basil, cheese and prosciutto and stir to combine. Turn the heat off and allow the risotto to sit for a minute before serving.
Serve with extra prosciutto, parmesan or basil as desired.
Makes 6-8 portions.
Originally Posted May 28, 2014.