When our recipe developers first whipped this one up, we all gathered close. "It's...it's beautiful!" someone exclaimed. And it was. Let's just say when we tasted it, we weren't disappointed. Enjoy!
Always refer to the product label for the most accurate ingredient and allergen information.
arborio rice(May be presentGluten, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Sesame, Milk, Soy)
garlic & herb seasoning
tinned cherry tomatoes
walnuts(ContainsTree NutsMay be presentGluten, Peanuts, Sesame, Milk, Soy)
baby spinach leaves
grated Parmesan cheese(ContainsMilk)
basil pesto(ContainsMilk, Tree Nuts)
Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan-forced. Finely chop the brown onion and garlic. In a large frying pan, heat the butter and a drizzle of olive oil over a medium-high heat. Cook the diced bacon and onion until browned, 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add the arborio rice and garlic & herb seasoning, stir to combine and cook until the rice is coated and slightly translucent, 1-2 minutes.
Add the water and vegetable stock powder to the pan. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat. Carefully transfer the risotto to a baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is 'al dente', 24-28 minutes. TIP: 'Al dente' rice is cooked through but still slightly firm in the centre.
While the risotto is baking, drain the tinned cherry tomatoes. Pick the thyme leaves. Place the cherry tomatoes and thyme on a lined oven tray. Add the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar, then drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat, then roast until caramelised, 15-20 minutes.
While the cherry tomatoes are roasting, roughly chop the walnuts. Wipe out the frying pan and return to a medium-high heat. Add the walnuts and toast, tossing, until fragrant, 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside. Pick and thinly slice the basil leaves. Slice the lemon into wedges.
When the risotto is done, stir through the baby spinach leaves, goat cheese (see ingredients), basil pesto and 3/4 of the basil leaves. Add a good squeeze of lemon juice and season to taste. TIP: Add a splash of water if the risotto looks dry. TIP: Seasoning is key in this dish. Season with more salt, pepper or lemon juice to taste.
Divide the risotto between bowls. Top with the roasted cherry tomatoes, toasted walnuts and remaining basil leaves. Serve with any remaining lemon wedges.