So I have finished with uni for the year, but I have not been free to revel in domestic bliss for long. Today was the first day of my two month summer job working as an ‘administrator’ (i.e. general dog’s body) in a financial advice company. Not only is the work dull, which is to say incredibly DULL, now I have even less time for cooking than I did at uni.
Luckily I am prepared for such eventualities with a host of recipes that take very little time to make and require minimal washing up, workers of the world not not despair you can still have delicious mid-week dinners. One of the best fail-safe speedy dinners is risotto. I chose to make it with asparagus, courgette and mint because its lovely and summery (and obviously it was the only thing I had in the fridge!) but if you just follow the first few steps then you can add any veggies you like at the end.
Asparagus, Courgette and Mint Risotto
- Half a courgette
- A bunch of asparagus (the cheap kind, not just the tips)
- A small bunch of mint (unfortunately its not really optional this time)
- Quarter of a lemon
- Half a cup of risotto rice
- Half a white onion
- Grated Parmesan
- One mug full of chicken or vegetable stock
How to Make it…
- Start by finely dicing the onion and heating up some oil in a pan. Cut off the woody bottom bit of the asparagus (about 1 inch) and cut the rest of the stalk into rounds, leaving the tip whole. Add the onion and half of the chopped asparagus to the pan and wait for it to soften.
- Now add the rice and fry until the edges go transparent, it should only take about 30 seconds. Then add a generous squeeze of lemon and a dash of white wine if you have any lying around (it is not essential so don’t open a bottle).Once the liquid has evaporated add the first slosh of stock, don’t add too much!
- Keep stirring the rice until the liquid has evaporated, I don’t think that it is necessary to stir it consistently (the italians will eat me alive for saying that probably) but just keep an eye on it while you are doing other things.
- Keep adding a bit of stock at a time each time the liquid evaporates and meanwhile chop up your courgette.
- Once you’ve added about half of the stock add your veggies and keep stirring and adding stock.
- When you have nearly run out of stock check the rice and if you think it is nearly done add it to the pan along with and handful of chopped mint leaves, a handful of grated parmesan and some salt and pepper. Normally I would say substitute the fresh herbs for dried if you don’t have any but with this dish I think the fresh mint is pretty essential for maximum yumminess.
- Pop the lid on the pan and turn the heat right down to let the flavours all melt into one another .
- Once all the liquid has gone throw it into a pan and top with some more grated parmesan and, if you’re feeling fancy, a sprig of mint.
- It might sound a little bit complicated but it takes under half an hour to cook and it tastes delicious.
Washing up rating *** I used: a knife and a chopping board, a mug, a pan a wooden spoon and a bowl and fork.
Cost Rating ** I used: half a bag of Asparagus costing £2, half a courgette costing 24p, half an onion costing 18p, 1/4 of a bag of rice costing £1.10, 1/2 a bag of mint costing 80p, 1/4 of a lemon costing 30p, 1/2 a chicken stock cube from a pack costing 90p and 1/10 of a block of parmesan costing £2.60 per pack. In total this dish costs around £1.30.