As many of you will know, the base ingredients usually found in risotto are white wine, butter and – most importantly – parmesan. However, the status quo deserves to be upset once in a while and goats cheese does a great job of mixing things up. Not only is it delicious and robust, it adequately performs the duty of the usual dairy products. My Red Pepper and Goats Cheese Risotto recipe may be a break from tradition, but it’s as rich and indulgent a risotto as you’d hope to find.
The recipe below calls for a ripe goats cheese. Basically, this just means that it’s been allowed to mature and soften, which brings the flavour out even more. You can see from the photo that it’s almost liquid inside. However, should you wish to use a hard goats cheese or an unripe specimen then please do – just go with what you like.
Red peppers and paprika complement goats cheese beautifully. The sweetness of the fruit works very well with the tang of the ripe cheese, providing a very interesting and enjoyable flavour. Paprika may seem like a strange choice for risotto, but in this case it serves to complete the dish and bring its constituent parts together rather nicely.
Red Pepper and Goats Cheese Risotto
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 2 sweet red peppers, roughly chopped
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
• 1 tsp sweet paprika
• 200g arborio rice
• 800ml chicken or vegetable stock
• 100g ripe goats cheese
1. Sauté the onion, peppers and garlic in olive oil for 8-10 minutes. Add the paprika followed by the rice – cook for two minutes before adding a ladle full of stock.
2. Keep adding the stock ladle by ladle, allowing the rice to absorb each ladleful before adding the next. Once the rice is just cooked remove from the heat and add the goats cheese in lumps – stir, cover and leave for 2 minutes. Stir again and serve immediately.
Cost: The price of this dish rather depends on the quality of goats cheese you opt for. My usual favourite wasn’t available so I had to plump for something a little more expensive – apparently it all comes from just one goat. Still, assuming you aren’t forced to “go expensive” this dish should set you back around £3.