A risotto made with quinoa instead of rice may sound a little bit peculiar, but Anna Jones has pulled another great recipe out of the bag – her never ending bag of great recipes, with her quinoa risotto with mashed peas and greens.
Anna isn’t the only one making risotto out of quinoa. There are loads of other recipes out there like this Spring quinoa risotto from Hemsly & Hemsley, which I have yet to try. The beauty of Anna’s recipe is that it takes little over 20 minutes to make and tastes delicious. While quinoa itself isn’t my favourite grain to eat. I often find it quite bland, it’s the addition of salty feta, crunchy pine nuts and the delicious pea, mint and basil pesto-esque mash that really makes this dish something special. That, coupled with the fact that quinoa makes for a much lighter, but equally filling risotto, has got me hooked. I’ll definitely be making this again.
I was worried that the husband who is a self-professed risotto expert would turn his nose up at a such a departure from traditional risotto, but that wasn’t the case.
The verdict from the husband: ‘That’s really nice.’ And it was.
Recipe adapted from Anna Jones a modern way to cook.
Serves 4 (I halved the ingredients and while it looked like we were going to have teeny tiny portions, there was plenty)
- 2 leeks
- olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 250g quinoa
- 200ml white wine
- 1 lemon
- 1tbsp veg stock powder or 1/2 a cube
- 250g frozen peas
- 200g spring greens or spinach
- a few springs of mint
- 1/2 bunch basil
- 60g Parmesan cheese
- 100g ricotta or feta cheese
- Wash and slice leeks and cook in olive oil until starting to brown, then add chopped garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the quinoa and cook for a few minutes allowing to pop (apparently this makes it tastes better. Unfortunately I accidentally threw in the wine at this stage having picked up the wrong jug!).
- Once the quinoa has popped for a few minutes add the wine and juice of half a lemon and cook until it has evaporated. Add the stock powder and 600ml of water and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Weigh out the peas and cover with boiling water until defrosted. Shred the greens (I used spinach as I already has some in the fridge), and dry fry the pine nuts until browned.
- Drain the peas and blitz with the mint and basil leaves, the juice of the other half of lemon a tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt. (I omitted the salt as I’m so used to cooking without it for the boy).
- When the quinoa is cooked, add the shredded greens, grated Parmesan and black pepper and pop a lid on. (I gave it a good stir to wilt the spinach as I didn’t shred it and simply threw in a couple of good handfuls).
- To serve, top the quinoa risotto with the pea mash (I would liken this to a pea, mint and basil pesto), toasted pine nuts and crumbled feta or ricotta and a grating of Parmesan.