Monday, 25 July 2011

Quorn Risotto


I absolutely adore risotto and find it quite enjoyable to cook so I was looking forward to trying out this recipe. My husband, on the other hand, detests the texture of risotto - he is not too keen on many rice based dishes to be honest but in particular he was apparently fed liver risotto frequently as a child and came to hate it. I can't say I blame him, it sounds foul.

But anyway, this risotto uses quorn pieces and is also quite a 'bulky' risotto, containing asparagus and peas. The method was different to other risottos I have made in that the quorn and veg were cooked in a seperate pan and only stirred into the finished rice at the end. This did work but meant two large pans on the hob and simultaneous cooking.

The knack with risotto, in my opinion, is patience and resisting the urge to stir constantly. I also have a special risotto stirrer which is like a wooden spoon with a hole in it and which apparently helps to evenly cook the rice and not break up the starches too much (making it thick and sticky). Here the basic steps are to sweat the onions and garlic in oil before stirring in the rice to coat it in the oil, then a small glass of wine is added and simmered off before the stock is added, a small amount at a time and simmered off in the same way.

I have been cooking risotto for years but have never made one with so much veg in it, I really enjoyed it though and the cooking the veg off in a second pan means it does not require much more than heating through once it is added to the rice.

This is a picture of the finished risotto in the pan, after the pesto and parmesan have been stirred through at the end:

And this is what it looks like served, although the portions are not huge, like with all risottos this much is more than enough!

The flavours were really strong from the sweet peas and the al dente asparagus and this worked really well. Start to finish this did take around the 25 minutes that the recipe claimed, although, as I mentioned before, this involves cooking two lots of ingredients at the same time. Even my risotto hating husband thought it tasted pretty good and I think the fact it is such a 'busy' dish broke up the texture quite a lot and detracted from the amount of rice involved.

In terms of weight watchers points, each portion, based on the recipe serving 4  , is 12 points broken down as follows: rice (5), quorn (2), butter/oil (2), parmesan (1), pesto (1), wine (1). This is actually pretty low for what tastes like a much richer dish and a substantial portion. I would definitely make it again.

A nice touch, in my opinion, is adding the pesto right at the end as this gave depth to the flavour but was not too heavy. You could make this recipe lighter on points by using a reduced fat spread instead of butter and a reduced fat pesto, but given the full fat version still only comes in at 12 points I do not think making these changes is necessary.

I would give this an 8/10 (he says 6/10 but even this is quite positive considering his risotto phobia!).


  1. Looks yummy! I've only ever tried mushroom risotto I still need to order my quorn cookbook.. I wonder if I even still can lol

  2. Hi there - I've never tried to cook risotto but I was very interested in your blog. I wondered if it would be possible to publish your recipe on here?