If you struggle to get greens into your kids (or yourself!) then here is a fabulous way to get a whole load of spinach into them. I’m afraid it isn’t hidden, in fact the risotto becomes quite a lurid green colour but I’ve found that kids are quite taken with the green-ness of it which is why I’ve called it ‘Hulk’ risotto – one because it’s green like the Hulk and two because it will make you powerful like the Hulk!
It’s very easy to get into the whole ‘eat one more mouthful of vegetables before you can have pudding’ discussion with your child but I’ve found telling them how strong they’ll be, how fast they’ll run, how quickly their brains will work or how their football / dancing will improve tends to slowly but surely succeed in getting them to happily eat their veg – we don’t want eating healthily to have bad connotations so try to think of all the good things associated with eating a variety of veg rather than just pushing that last mouthful of broccoli into them as quickly as you can!
Let me know if your family enjoys this Hulk Risotto:
300g Arborio rice
1.5 litres stock (either using stock cubes or make your own from chicken carcass)
2 cloves garlic
½ bag of grated parmesan cheese
slug of olive oil
100ml white wine (omit for kids but I love the taste in my risotto!)
big bag of organic spinach
200g frozen peas
8 rashers streaky bacon (or more if you like)
Heat the oven to 200C.
Spread out the bacon on a baking sheet and bake for 20 mins or until crispy.
Heat a knob of butter and a slug of olive oil into a large saucepan.
Chop the onion and garlic and add to the pan.
Once fragrant add the Arborio rice and coat with the butter/onion for 30 secs.
Add the white wine (if using) and let the rice absorb it.
Slowly add the stock ladle by ladle for about 20 mins, stirring continuously. Once the rice has absorbed the liquid, add another ladleful.
Add parmesan and the occasional knob of butter during cooking – just a bit at a time.
When the risotto is nearly cooked steam the spinach and peas until cooked (about 5 mins)
Add the butter to the cooked veg and blend with a stick blender until pureed.
When rice is cooked (taste it – it should be firm but not hard) turn off the heat and stir in the spinach and pea puree.
Serve with 2 rashers of crispy bacon on top.