Zoe’s Recipe – All Things Risotto

Zoe’s Recipe – All Things Risotto

It’s been a busy week for the Arborio Risotto rice at the Cycle Retreats House, all courtesy of Finca Partida Portet and their fabulous fresh garden peas! After I posted a picture of them, we had all sorts of wonderful ideas for them, but risotto was certainly the common theme. I just love the minted pea and basil with Salmon Risotto that Alan Murchison creates, so that was on the menu for my huge supply that Andy from Finca Partida had delivered. Chef Alan uses frozen peas, but this is only out of speed and we are sure he would approve of us changing his recipe for the fresh variety!

Risotto itself is a pretty straight forward dish and a great way to feed the hungry cyclist and all the family for little expense, and adding in some special ingredients for me is what makes it that little bit more special. 

Here is a simple, but tasty risotto recipe for you: –

Recipe – Serves 4

  • 1 large onion peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 garlic gloves crushed, wild garlic is best
  • 3 sticks of celery chopped (I love celery as a base for anything)
  • Chunk of butter, spend time in the kitchen with me and you will know the scales done get out much
  • 300g Arborio Risotto rice, yes others are available, but this is my go too
  • 1ltr of good quality stock. I often make stock and just freeze it for this occasion, if not decent quality
  • 100ml white wine, ideally slightly dry… plus a glass for you while you cook 😊
  • 60g Parmesan
  • 2 x springs of rosemary
  • Lemon with a handful of parsley to serve
  • Glug of decent olive oil, you really must not buy cheap it makes such a difference, we are very lucky here in Spain and have the most amazing Olive Oil again from Finca Partida, every guest loves it!


  • Warm up the stock and add the rosemary, leave on a very low heat to infuse
  • Throw the garlic, onion and celery into a pan with seasoning and a tablespoon of the olive oil, plus a knob of butter.
  • After a few minutes, add the rice and coat it in all the juices and butter
  • Add the wine to the rice and let it absorb
  • Once the wine has cooked down, start to ladle in the stock, but not the rosemary
  • Takes around 15-20 mins and top up each time the fluid has been absorbed
  • Finally stir in another knob of butter and the Parmesan and turn off the heat. Cover and let it rest for 2 mins before serving. Place the chopped the parsley on top with a wedge of lemon on the side. 
  • Set aside some extra uncooked Parmesan for the people who like a little extra

Let’s make it more interesting!

  • Mushrooms, peas, fish, asparagus all work well with risotto, as does bacon and prawns.
  • Personally, I find with mushrooms, you’re best to cook them first so they are charcoaled, but careful not to overcook them, add them again at the end.
  • With peas, (my favourite) you can blend them with a bit of oil and mint, stirring them in during the time you put the stock in, just go a little easier on the stock and a little lighter on the cheese. Make sure you done blend them all. Add a handful of our little whole green friends for texture.   
  • Bacon works well at the beginning with the celery mix, but remember to use less seasoning if using this protein. 
  • Prawns are best treated like mushrooms, cook them in a little garlic then keep to one side, throwing them back in at the end.
  • Any pan fried fish for me works well with this very versatile dish, my favorites are salmon and seabass, as fresh as possible and very simple just a light pan fry on a searing pan with good quality salt should do it, then place on top and serve.
  • If you want to dress your dish, with pea Risotto add some pea shoots for height or for your fish dish, a large prawn still dressed in head and tail finishes off the dish

Oh! Is it dinner time yet..?