Friday: Broccoli, bacon and pea risotto
1 vegetable stock cube
400g frozen broccoli florets
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
10g fresh thyme, leaves picked
300g arborio risotto rice
50g grated Cheddar
300g smoked back bacon, cut into cubes
320g frozen peas, blanched and drained
150g Greek-style salad cheese, crumbled
1. Put the stock cube in a large pan with 1ltr boiling water. Stir to dissolve and bring to a simmer over a medium high heat. Add the frozen broccoli, bring back up to a simmer and cook for 2-3 mins until tender, then transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon. Reduce the heat to low, cover the stock pan, and leave to keep warm while you start the risotto.
2. Heat half the butter and all the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook gently for 8-10 mins until the onion is soft but not golden. Stir in the garlic and most of the thyme leaves and fry for 1-2 mins until fragrant. Stir in the rice and mix well to coat each grain.
3. Add a ladle of stock to the rice pan and stir until just absorbed. Keep adding stock, a ladle at a time, until all the stock has been absorbed and the rice is tender and creamy. It should take about 20-25 mins. When the rice is tender, stir in the cooked broccoli, Cheddar and remaining butter. Remove from the heat and cover with a lid or a sheet of foil. Leave to rest for 10 mins.
4. Meanwhile, put the bacon cubes in a cold frying pan, then place over a medium-high heat. Fry, stirring frequently, until crisp and golden, about 10 mins. Stir the peas into the bacon pan to heat through, scraping any bacon bits up from the bottom of the pan. Stir the bacon and peas into the risotto, and top with the crumbled salad cheese and some thyme leaves to serve.