1. You wake feeling better than you have in the last week. And you can talk. Yay! (Thank you for all the well wishes :) )
2. You arrive at work and discover that some kind soul has bought Earl Gray tea for the communal kitchen as well as generic-bland-black tea.
3. Whilst walking upstairs with your tea cup, you hear the cleaner singing his heart out whilst cleaning the bathrooms.
[Starting work early, the cleaner probably thought he was alone in the building. You tiptoe away quickly to avoid shattering that illusion mid-song.]
4. You have left-over Spring-Winter risotto for lunch.
The Spring-Winter Risotto was modified from the Spring Risotto recipe in The Vegan Table (Colleen Patrick-Goudreau), which I bookmarked after receiving the book recently. In truth, it isn't too different to rice dishes I regularly make, but it does call for (appropriately for a risotto) arborio rice. I rarely use this, as I don't tend to have it when I want it, but some pre-planning meant that this time I was properly prepared.
The original recipe helpfully states that vegetables can be swapped and changed according to season and preference, which is why my version has been re-christened a Spring-Winter dish. I'm not sure that it's particularly wintery, but it ended up including only a few of the vegetables listed in the original recipe, and adding quite a lot more.
Adapted from The Vegan Table, by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
Serves 3 - 4
1 bunch spring onions (~10)
1 shallot (or 1/2 regular onion), chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 carrots, thinly sliced or julienned
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, chopped
~3/4 cup green beans, chopped
3 - 4 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups arborio rice (uncooked)
1tsp dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Chop the white parts of the spring onions and reserve ~2tbsp of the green parts, very finely sliced.
2. In the bottom of a large saucepan, saute the white part of the spring onions, the chopped shallot, and the crushed garlic.
3. Meanwhile, steam the carrots, pepper and beans in a steamer over low heat, until crisp. Stand until needed.
4. When the onion and garlic are soft and golden, add 3 cups of stock and the arborio rice. Simmer covered for ~15 minutes. Add the additional cup of stock as required, when the rice thickens.
5. When the rice is cooked, mix through the steamed vegetables and basil. Add salt and pepper to taste (I added pepper).
6. Serve and top with reserved sliced spring onion. Sprinkle with cheese if desired (I gave Mr Bite cheese and he reported that it worked well).
I enjoyed this dish, particularly the taste and texture of the arborio rice. Even without the cheese that's usually involved in regular risotto, the rice was much thicker and creamier than usual, and slightly (pleasantly) chewy. The simple flavourings worked well together and the vegetables retained their texture and taste much more than I associate with rice dishes, due to the steaming.
The only issue I have with the recipe is the lack of protein! With that said, the one tweak I might try in future would be to add a 1/4 cup of pinenuts, as I imagine the flavour and texture of those would complement the risotto nicely.