We reached that point in the Cooking Up A Treat household where the ingredients to make a full meal were starting to run a little low and I decided to go a bit rogue by creating a tuna and spinach risotto. It might seem a little out there but, especially when combined with all the other flavours and kitchen basics, it actually worked incredibly well and was one of the most enjoyable meals I have cooked for some time.
It was certainly nice to have some greenery included properly within the risotto as well instead of searching around for something to put on the side to make it more than just carbs, protein and fat! This was certainly a much more balanced meal, with me going gentle on the cheese, and was packed with various flavours and textures too.
Ingredients (For Two)
- One tin of tuna, preferably in brine (as this can be used in the risotto instead of salt)
- Two portions of risotto rice. The one we use is Arborio rice from Asda where the packet is useful enough to tell you how much should be poured for a single portion
- An onion, chopped
- A large clove of garlic, finely chopped
- A large handful of mushrooms, we just used standard white mushrooms, sliced
- Pepper, mixed herbs, chilli powder and a litre of boiling hot vegetable stock
- A cup of frozen sweetcorn
- 3/4 cup of frozen peas
- A little bit of margarine, about a 25g knob
- Some cheese, I would suggest about a small handful of it once grated would be enough
- (For the side you can serve with salad to balance out the dish and make it more nutritious)
- Four cups of roughly chopped spinach
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan
- Add in the garlic, onions and mushrooms to cook down and lightly brown
- Mix in the risotto rice
- Pour in a couple of ladles of stock. Drain the tuna into the pan as well. Whilst I didn’t I think a squeeze of lemon juice would work well added here
- Add in seasoning; pepper, dried mixed herbs and the chilli powder when adding another couple of ladles of stock. We have quite a strong chilli powder so only use a couple of pinches!
- Add in the frozen sweetcorn and peas with the next round of adding stock
- Keep adding a little stock until the rice is cooked. Let the remaining stock boil away before turning off the heat and mixing in the tuna, spinach (bit at a time, forcing it down and into the risotto with your stirring utensil) and the cheese
- Serve and enjoy!
This is one of those dishes that I would be weary of having cold the following day but simply because the spinach has wilted a little and will go that bit soggy and mushy as it cools. If you are thinking of doing enough to produce leftovers I would suggest splitting the mixture to the right serving amount and then adding the spinach to the bit that you intend to eat immediately and then mix the rest into the cold risotto the following day (or have it on the side).
As always if you are intending to store some for later then remove it from the pan whilst it is still hot to a tub but keep the lid off until it has fully cooled; this helps to stop the risotto from continuing to cook in the pan or risking it sticking. If you have one of those tubs that divides into two sections this is a great dish to put into one half and then have the spinach and any other salad you might want in the other half.