Do you have experience cooking in a small kitchen? How about an itsy, bitsy, tiny kitchen that just so happens to be in the shape of a triangle?
When J and I first met together in student residence in France we did all of our cooking out of one pot like pan (that we used for everything) in a kitchen that we shared with 40+ other people. Though we now have much more than one pot like pan, I still make do with our small space – and we seem to be storing kitchen stuff everywhere. I literally have baking pans stored under the bed and kitchen appliances in our living room armoire!
I’m sharing this because you don’t need fancy appliances or even a big space to cook up seemingly fancy-pants meals like this Red Pepper Healthy Risotto 😉 Though we did invest in a few kitchen appliances when moving in together we did not go overboard either, learning to make do with what we have until we are both no longer students! Though I own a food processor, I make do with a 10 euro immersion blender.
Like most of the dinners on this blog, this Red Pepper Healthy Risotto is a simple and delicious one pot meal that can be made in any kitchen – big or small. And the cashew cream sauce can be made with an immersion blender (the least expensive blender I’ve come across on the market)! You’d be amazed everything you can make with a 10 euro blender and a good sturdy pan! 😀
The key to this Red Pepper Healthy Risotto is sauteeing the rice in the red peppers and spices until the rice is a light golden brown, infusing the risotto rice with deep and rich flavours from the heat of the stove. Though this dish only takes around 20 minutes to prepare, the entire preparation for this Red Pepper Healthy Risotto is “hands-on”. Make sure to stir the risotto rice with the vegetable broth continuously, the starch from the rice creates a super creamy and delicious side dish without the addition of any cream or butter! Enjoy!
If you end up making this Red Pepper Healthy Risotto I love hearing about it! Insta or Tweet it to me (@cearaskitchen with hashtag #cearaskitchen) or Facebook it to me via the Ceara’s Kitchen Facebook Page!
- 1 red onion, diced
- 3-4 gloves garlic, diced
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp herbes de provence
- ⅛ cup water or 1 tbsp olive oil (*for sauteeing vegetables)
- 2 red peppers, chopped into small pieces
- 1½ cups arborio rice ("risotto" rice)
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 1 tsp truffle oil (optional)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Sea Salt + Pepper to taste
- hot peppers for garnish (optional)
- 3 tbsp pine nuts
- ½ tsp truffle or olive oil
- Sea Salt to taste
- ⅓ cup cashews
- ½ tbsp lemon juice
- 2 - 3 tbsp water
- Soak cashews in hot water while preparing the risotto.
- In a large and deep pan over medium high heat, sautee the diced onions and garlic with the basil and herbes de provence in olive oil (or water) until they begin to brown. Add chopped red peppers and sauteee for another couple minutes, adding a bit of extra olive oil or water if necessary.
- Add the arborio rice to the hot pan and sautee with the vegetables for a couple of minutes until the rice begins to turn a light golden brown. (*Sautee continuously to ensure that the rice does not burn).
- Add 2 cups of the vegetable broth and stir until the rice has soaked up the broth. Add a cup more broth and stir continuously until the rice has soaked up the broth. Add the additional 3 cups of vegetable broth, one at a time, using this same method.
- While cooking the rice, over medium heat, sautee pine nuts in truffle or olive oil for 1 -2 minutes until the pine nuts are golden brown. (*dry sautee pine nuts for an oil free version). Stir continuously - pine nuts burn very easily. Remove from heat and season with sea salt to taste.
- Once all the vegetable broth is soaked up into the rice, stir in the lemon juice and optional truffle oil. Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
- Drain and rinse the soaked cashews. Using an immersion blender, blend the cashews, lemon juice and water until a creamy and smooth mixture is formed. Add additional water, by the tablespoon, until the desired consistency is reached. Season with sea salt to taste.
- Stir the cashew cream into the risotto and serve with hot red peppers (optional) and fancy pine nuts.
Use vegetable broth and leave out truffle oil to keep this recipe oil-free.
Leave out cashew cream and pine nuts for a nut free version.