For me, there is nothing quite as comforting as a lovely big bowl of velvety, creamy risotto and our recent jaunt to Rome has left me feeling extremely comforted, if a little uncomfortable around the waistband. The problem with it, diabetically speaking, is that it has to be made with Arborio rice (which is white and not strictly allowed) otherwise it just isn’t risotto. The good news, however, is that of the white rice varieties, Arborio is not too bad. A GI of 69 places it at the high end of the mid-range, as compared to 55 for brown rice (top of the low range) and a whopping 98 for the delicious (but too naughty to be worth it) jasmine rice.
This recipe balances the GI of the rice, by incorporating a large amount of green vegetables (asparagus, broccoli and peas) and a generous helping of parmesan which, together with the peas, injects a good dose of protein into the meal. If you want to add an extra protein boost, this is really good served with a green salad dressed with a warm dressing of hot olive oil and a handful of seeds which should be briefly added to the hot oil and allowed to sizzle for a moment before chucking the lot onto the salad.
- 160 grammes onions finely diced
- 240 grammes asparagus woody ends removed and chopped into bite sized lengths
- 240 grammes tenderstem or purple sprouting broccoli chopped into bite sized chunks
- 320 grammes frozen peas
- 300 grammes arborio rice
- 10 grammes Butter
- 75 ml white wine
- 0.7-1 litres vegetable stock
- 100 grammes Parmesan cheese grated
- Soften the diced onions on a low heat in Fry Light until silken.
- While the onions are cooking, make up your preferred brand of any good quality vegetable stock, grate the cheese and chop the asparagus and broccoli.
- When the onions are well softened, but not browned, add a knob of butter and once it has melted stir in the rice.
- Turn up the heat to medium and pour in about half a glass of wine. Stir vigorously for a minute or two.
- Begin to add the stock. I generally add around a quarter at a time, stirring gently (intermittently is fine) until it is absorbed and then adding the next lot.
- When you are about 3/4 through the stock addition process, throw the veggies in a pan of boiling water for 4-5 minutes, until just cooked. Drain and keep warm.
- Once the rice is cooked to your liking (you may need to add a little boiling water to ensure it is fully cooked and creamy) add the parmesan and vegetables. Combine.
- Serve with a little more parmesan, black pepper and a salad if desired.