Side Dishes & Canapes
Vegetarian & Vegan
I love kale, and cavalo nero in particular, and it seems to do really well in my veg patch - up until around the middle of June, when caterpillars start to devour it. So I sow it in autumn, grow it slowly over the winter and then enjoy it from March until around now. I usually stir-fry it, removing the central stems and then shredding it roughly before giving it a splash of Worcestershire sauce just before serving, as that seems to bring out the flavour beautifully.
But this week, I’ve added it to my favourite oven-baked risotto recipe, which is really tasty and uses two sorts of mushrooms as well as cubes of feta cheese. Oven-baked risottos are so much easier than the kind you make on the hob and have to stand over for half an hour - just put this one in the oven and forget about it. It always comes out the perfect consistency with no effort at all!
Rinse the dried mushrooms (they are sometimes a bit gritty and this gets rid of it), then cover them with boiling water and leave to stand for 15 mins. Meanwhile, soften the leek in a little olive oil in a ovenproof saute pan. Add the garlic and mushrooms and fry for 3 mins, then stir in the rice, stock, and white wine. Bring to the boil, scatter in the thyme and feta and bake in the oven for 25-30 mins at 170 C (fan oven) until the rice is just tender and there's still a little liquid in the pan. Scatter over the parmesan and serve with a watercress or rocket salad (my Tarragon Salad Dressing, from a previous post, goes really well with it).