Swiss chard risotto with speck and basil

Swiss chard risotto with speck and basil

Recipe by Lesley Holdship

Risotto is really easy to make. The only requirement is a little time, giving it's creator a small moment to reflect! It only takes 40 minutes in total which cannot be bad to achieve a tiny bit of inner peace in our busy lives.

Serves 2

Preparation time 15 minutes

Cooking time 25 minutes


50ml olive oil

1 onion, peeled and chopped

1 plump clove garIic, peeled and crushed

175g risotto rice, like carnaroli or vialone nano

125ml white wine

650ml chicken stock

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

125g Swiss chard, cut in to 1/2 slices, stalks kept separately from Paul Wheeler (Fresh Supplies) Ltd

50g podded peas

75g speck, diced from Exquisite Deli

50g hard cheese, like pecorino or Parmesan, finely grated from Gastronomica

A handful of basil leaves

Preparation Method

Place the stock into a pan and heat until just boiling, keeping it then hot whilst you get the risotto started

Heat a sautée pan or deep frying pan along with the olive oil, over a medium heat. When it's warm, add the onion and cook for around 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so.

Pour in the rice and cook for a short while, turning it often to coat it in the oil. Next add the wine, letting it bubble furiously until it has completely evaporated. If you start to add stock before it has all reduced you may end up with a raw wine flavour.

Start adding the stock, large ladlefuls at a time. Constantly stir the risotto, too. This releases the starch from the rice, giving you a lovely creamy finish.

After about 10 minutes, add the chard stalks to the rice and season generously. Carry on adding the stock until the rice is just cooked then add the peas, speck and chard leaves, cooking for another 3-4 minutes.

Lastly, stir through the cheese and basil, them serve the risotto with a really cold green salad dressed with a mustard dressing.

If you really don't want to stand over your risotto you can oven bake it. It is a comvenient method for busy people. Add all of the stock at once, cover the risotto and bake at 180°C/ gas mark 4 for 25 minutes.


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