Recipe: Oven-baked vegetable risotto

Welcome back to Tuesday's recipe series, where each week I share a new recipe. When there is a collection on the blog, I will be showing you how to use them to create weekly, fortnightly and monthly meal plans. Today's recipe is a super-simple oven-baked risotto.

I have always loved a good risotto, but could never be bothered standing over the stove stirring it for 40 minutes. Ain't no-one got time for that, especially when you've got a hungry toddler at your toes in the kitchen! So now I only do risottos 2 ways - in the oven or in the microwave. Both methods do not require constant stirring, so it becomes one of those quick 'leave-and-forget' meals that I totally love! The recipe I've written today is an oven-baked version, but getting yourself a great microwave dish too is a really worthwhile investment.

The other great thing about risotto is that once you know how to make a delicious flavour base, you can mix and match different vegetable combinations to create unique dishes. You can easily have a different risotto every week in your meal planning. If you were doing a monthly meal plan like I do and wanted to include a different weekly risotto, it might look like this:

Week 1 : Chicken, mushroom and spinach

Week 2: Oven-baked vegetable

Week 3: Bacon, leek and goat's cheese

Week 4: Asparagus, pea and mint

And bam! You've got 4 meals of the month sorted, all with pretty much the same method but different flavours. Meal planning and cooking shouldn't be over-complicated. It's all about finding a good recipe and tweaking it to suit your personal tastes. I hope you enjoy this risotto recipe as much as we do!

Oven-baked vegetable risotto

Ingredients

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 leeks, finely chopped
  • 2 - 3 rashers bacon, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 red capsicum, diced
  • 1/2 butternut pumpkin, diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus extra to serve
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180º C
  • Heat oil in a medium-sized pan. Add onion and bacon, and cook for 2- 3 minutes
  • Add all the other vegetables and cook until the onion is translucent (approx. 3-5 minutes)
  • Add rice and stir to coat in the oil
  • Pour the chicken stock into the pan, and gently bring to the boil, stirring regularly
  • Cover the pan with a lid or foil and place in the oven for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the dish from the oven and add peas. Return to the oven for 3 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, stir in parmesan, and season with salt and pepper. Allow to sit for 3-5 minutes then serve with extra parmesan sprinkled on top
    (Serves 4)

Interested in learning more about organising your kitchen? Clever Kitchens is the ultimate guide and video workshop that will show you how! Check it out here >>