Brussels Sprout, Chestnut and Sage Risotto
Ready in: 30 to 60 mins
Risotto is a great meal to serve as a vegetarian or vegan option at Christmas; plus, the addition of seasonal Brussels sprouts and chestnuts make this perfect for winter! To get ahead, prep the ingredients in advance. Begin cooking the dish and stop halfway through, adding the stock to the rice and spelt before they are fully cooked. At this point, turn off the heat. Brown the Brussels sprout halves and set on one side, then 20 minutes before you are scheduled to eat, warm the remaining stock and continue to cook the risotto.
Ingredients:180g cooked, whole chestnuts, roughly chopped
200ml semi-skimmed milk (or plant milk if making this dish vegan)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
250g risotto rice (arborio or carnaroli)
200g pearled spelt
125ml dry white wine (optional)
1.5 litre vegetable stock
5–10 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
75g vegetarian-friendly Parmesan-style cheese, grated (or non-dairy hard cheese for the vegan version)
200g Brussels sprouts, halved
2 springs fresh thyme, leaves stripped from the stem
- Put 100g of the cooked chestnuts in a saucepan with milk and bring to a simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little before blending in a liquidiser to make a smooth chestnut purée. Set aside for later.
- Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and cook gently for a few minutes until the onion has softened but not coloured. Add the rice and pearled spelt to the saucepan and stir for a few minutes until the grains become coated in a little oil from the pan. Add the wine, if using, and continue to cook until it has evaporated.
- Begin adding the stock to the rice and spelt mixture, a ladleful at a time. (Reserve 50 ml of stock to cook the sprouts a little later). Continue to stir the risotto until all the stock is added and the rice and spelt grains are firm but not chalky when bitten into. This will take about 15 minutes. The spelt remains slightly chewy when cooked.
- Add the chestnut purée, half the cheese and half of the chopped sage leaves to the rice and spelt mixture and stir well. Add a little more stock to the risotto if required. It should be creamy and not too dry. Taste the risotto and adjust the seasoning if required.
- To cook the sprouts. Add the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil to a non-stick frying pan together with the thyme leaves. Place the sprouts cut side down in the pan and cook until golden brown. Turn each sprout over and add the remaining stock. Cook the sprouts for another couple of minutes until they are cooked through.
- Add the remaining chopped cooked chestnuts, chopped sage leaves, Brussels sprouts and cheese to the risotto and serve.