Poppy is one of Lexie’s very few ‘younger’ friends. My daughter definitely likes the older kids! They probably get on because they are both born wrigglers who never ever sit still. It’s pretty hard to find a picture of these two that isn’t blurry.
Both of them love risotto so whenever they have dinner together either Katie, Poppy’s mum, or I make it (although sometimes, to avoid cooking we take them to the Tate Modern for the brilliant £3 kids fish and chips).
All the magnolias and camelias are in full bloom right now. It’s so beautiful and makes me so happy. I’ve been filling our flat with camelias and visiting my mum in Chelsea which is awash with bursting magnolias. In honour of all this blossom and Poppy and Lexie’s budding friendship, here is a simple risotto for spring.
Kids love risotto – it’s so easy for them to eat and ideal for little ones who are weaning as the rice sticks to the spoon and their fingers. Risotto is a great vehicle for lots of different veg – I’ve added some variations to this recipe at the end. Making this I listened to the Jungle Book’s I wanna be like you. Poppy and Lexie are such little monkeys and it seemed apt given how the littler ones always want to be just like the bigger kids.
Simple spring risotto
Prep time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Budget: £5 (£2 bacon, 60p leek, £1.50 parsley)
- 1/2 sliced leek
- 1/2 chopped onion
- 2 rashers chopped bacon
- 1 clove sliced garlic
- 1 cup of frozen peas
- Handful of fresh chopped parsley
- Risotto rice
- Chicken stock cube
- Grated parmesan
Heat olive oil in a pan and add the onion, bacon, leek and garlic and sweat for about 10 mins on a gentle heat. Add the risotto rice and start introducing the stock. For proper risotto I add a splash of wine and let it sizzle down before adding the stock a cupful at a time, stirring the risotto all the time. But for this version I just chuck a stock cube in and top up with hot water from the kettle every 5 mins or so, stirring it a bit. After 15 mins add the frozen peas. The risotto should be done after about 20 mins. Stir in the parsley and serve with grated parmesan.
- A classic risotto is mushroom. Fry onion, bacon and garlic as per above. Add the rice and stock and after 10 mins add the sliced mushrooms. Nice with lots of parsley.
- I often make risotto with leftover roast chicken. Same recipe as above and add the leftover chicken 5 mins before serving.
- I love courgette and pea risotto – the same recipe as above maybe leaving out the leek and adding the courgettes after 10 mins of cooking. This is nice with basil and/or a tiny bit of fresh chopped mint.
- I also really love asparagus risotto – same recipe as above (except I don’t usually do bacon with asparagus risotto, not sure why), adding chopped asparagus after 10 mins of cooking.
- Butternut squash risotto is popular but not really my cup of tea and Lex doesn’t like squash but I thought I’d mention it for inspiration.