Late Summer Risotto

Inspired by our balcony harvest, this risotto contains the last of the summer vegetables such as peppers, courgettes and tomatoes.  But of course it can be adapted to whatever you have available from your garden, allotment - or supermarket!  A feast of flavour.  Adding the tomatoes at the end means they stay whole, and release little bursts of flavour as you eat.

Late Summer Risotto

Serves 4 as a main course, 6 as a starter.


1 medium onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 medium courgette, halved and finely sliced
2-3 tbsp of oil from a jar of sun-dried tomatoes
25g knob of butter
1 heaped teaspoon of dried mixed herbs
200g arborio rice
200ml dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
8-10 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
250ml mushroom water (see below, or you could use extra vegetable stock)
250ml vegetable stock
120g frozen or fresh peas, softened in a cup of boiling water
25g fresh basil, chopped
25g knob of butter
30g Parmesan, grated
150g very good fresh tomatoes, cut into halves or quarters dependent on size
25g Parmesan, grated or shaved with a peeler to serve


1. Gently fry the onions in the olive oil and butter for a couple of minutes.

2. Add the peppers and courgette, and continue to fry over a medium heat until softened.  Do not allow the vegetables to brown.  Season and add a heaped teaspoon of mixed herbs.

3. Add the rice, and stir to coat with the oil and butter. Add another dash of oil if needed.

4. Add the wine and stir for a minute or two until it has evaporated.  Stir the sun-dried tomatoes through.

5. Stirring gently, add the mushroom water and then the stock a little at a time.  Allow the mixture to simmer gently, and keep stirring until all the liquid is absorbed.  Then add a little more, repeating until nearly all the liquid has been absorbed (about 15 minutes).  The rice is cooked when it is soft but still has a bit of bite at the centre.

6. Stir the peas and basil through, followed by the butter and Parmesan.  Check the flavour and season as necessary.

7. Stir the fresh tomatoes through and remove from the heat.

8. Let the risotto rest for a couple of minutes, then serve with Parmesan shavings and a cold glass of the dry white wine you used in the recipe.

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