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Putting lentils in risotto had never occurred to me, but then I stumbled across a recipe and thought, that makes sense. Combining rice and legumes creates a hearty, warming dish that provides complete protein, complex carbohydrates, fibre and lots of vitamins and minerals. If only I’d thought of this sooner!

The following is from AllRecipes.co.uk, with my suggestions in italics. You can visit the site for more recipes and inspiration.

Ingredients
Serves: 4 

  • 175g green lentils – use red or beluga lentils for gorgeous colour
  • lentil risotto500ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 3 celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and diced – add an extra pepper for more heat
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 225g mushrooms, sliced
  • 175g arborio rice
  • 200ml dry white wine
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander, plus extra to garnish – or use fresh sage or basil
  • pepper to taste
  • 4 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese – use nutritional yeast for a vegan dish

Preparation

  1. Cook the lentils in a saucepan of boiling water for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside. Place the stock in the saucepan and bring to simmering point over medium heat. Lower the heat so the stock is simmering gently.
  2. Heat the oil in another large saucepan and add the onion, garlic and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add the red pepper and the ground coriander and cumin. Cook for a further 1 minute, stirring.
  3. Add the mushrooms, rice and lentils, and stir to mix. Pour in the wine and add a ladleful of the hot stock. Bring to a gentle boil and bubble until most of the liquid has been absorbed, stirring frequently.
  4. Add another ladleful of stock and cook until it is absorbed, stirring frequently. Repeat this gradual addition of the hot stock until it has all been added. The rice should be creamy and tender but still with some ‘bite’, and the lentils cooked.
  5. Stir in the chopped coriander and season with pepper to taste. Serve hot, sprinkled with the Parmesan (or nutritional yeast) and extra chopped coriander.

Share your favourite risotto or lentil recipe in the comments!

photo credit: Luca Nebuloni Risotto courgette and mint via photopin (license)