Spinach Risotto with Parmesen Cheese & Nutmeg

Last summer we took our family holiday in Denmark and on our first trip into Copenhagen we discovered Grød; the world's first 'porridge restaurant'. Alongside all-day breakfast porridges were a selection of seasonal risottos and a daily daal all served in deep bowls. We made many returns to the restaurant to work our way through the menu. I returned home with their cookbook and now recreate these comforting bowls at home.

This week I made this vivid green bowl, which fed us four with enough leftover to make risotto cakes the next day for lunch. The tip, when making such a recipe, is to prep all your ingredients before, setting them out before you in little bowls like they do on cookery shows, because once you start cooking the risotto you'll need to keep stirring, rather than chopping and measuring out ingredients. Prep the puree and salad parts of the recipe before you start on the main risotto - it will make life easier. Having such an organised approach will allow you to stand at the stove and stir, which makes for a good risotto and is also rather relaxing. Maybe set yourself up with some music to work to - I often favour a bit of jazz when cooking risotto of an evening.

Spinach Risotto with Parmesan Cheese & Nutmeg

Serves 4 generously

Risotto:
1 banana shallot
1 garlic clove
300g risotto rice
2 tbsp olive oil
30g butter
1 litre of vegetable stock (I make mine slightly weak)
½ cup of dry white wine
125g grated parmesan cheese
salt
apple cider vinegar

Finely chop the banana shallot and garlic and put into a pot with the olive oil and butter. Saute at a very low heat until the onions are tender and translucent. Pour the stock into a separate pan and let it simmer over a low heat. 

Add the rice to the onions and fry on a medium heat. Keep stirring until the butter has been absorbed. Add the wine and let it reduce.  Keep adding the stock about ½ a cup at a time, every time the stock has reduced. Stir frequently.

Add the spinach leaves and spinach puree to the risotto when there is about ½ a cup of stock left and let it reduce further. Add the parmesan cheese when the risotto is still liquid, season with salt and cider vinegar. Serve immediately.

Spinach Puree:

400g fresh spinach
30g butter
Rinse the spinach. Save a big handful for the salad and another for the risotto. Heat a pot with the butter and fry the rest of the spinach until it becomes tender. Blend the spinach with a hand blender.

Spinach Salad:

1 handful of washed spinach
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 pinch sea salt
Beat together the rapeseed oil, cider vinegar and sea salt thoroughly and turn with the spinach leaves.

Toppings:

Nutmeg
Finely grated or shaved parmesan cheese

To Serve:
Serve the risotto in soup plates or bowls. Top with a handful of spinach salad, a bit of parmesan cheese and finely grated nutmeg on top.