About this recipe:Lentils add extra flavour and texture to this Italian-style mushroom risotto. Serve with roast or grilled vegetables, such as peppers and courgettes, or a mixed salad, for a satisfying lunch.
175g (6oz) green lentils
500ml (18fl oz) low-sodium vegetable stock
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 celery sticks, chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and diced
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
225g (8oz) mushrooms, sliced
175g (6oz) arborio rice
200ml (7fl oz) dry white wine
3 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh coriander, plus extra to garnish
pepper to taste
4 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
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Cook the lentils in a saucepan of boiling water for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside. Place the stock in the saucepan and bring to simmering point over medium heat. Lower the heat so the stock is simmering gently.
Heat the oil in another large saucepan and add the onion, garlic and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add the red pepper and the ground coriander and cumin. Cook for a further 1 minute, stirring.
Add the mushrooms, rice and lentils, and stir to mix. Pour in the wine and add a ladleful of the hot stock. Bring to a gentle boil and bubble until most of the liquid has been absorbed, stirring frequently.
Add another ladleful of stock and cook until it is absorbed, stirring frequently. Repeat this gradual addition of the hot stock until it has all been added. The rice should be creamy and tender but still with some ‘bite’, and the lentils cooked.
Stir in the chopped coriander and season with pepper to taste. Serve hot, sprinkled with the Parmesan and extra chopped coriander.
Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.
Some more ideas
*Instead of green lentils, try the tiny Puy lentils. Pearl barley risotto: Soften 2 sliced leeks and 1 crushed garlic clove in 1 tbsp olive oil. Add 1 deseeded and diced red or yellow pepper, 250g (9oz) pearl barley, 2 tsp dried herbes de Provence, 200ml (7fl oz) dry white wine and 100ml (3½fl oz) hot vegetable stock. Simmer for 45 minutes, gradually adding a further 400–500ml (14–17fl oz) hot stock and stirring frequently, until the pearl barley is cooked and tender. Meanwhile, steam 225g (8oz) broccoli florets and cook 175g (6oz) frozen peas. Stir these into the risotto and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, topped with the Parmesan.
Lentils are the small seeds of a variety of leguminous plants. They are a good source of protein, complex carbohydrate, dietary fibre and B vitamins.
Loved it! Totally filling and delicious. Non-vegetarian husband loved it and we were both surprised how fantastic it was. 5 year old daughter did not like it... pretty sure it was just the consistency. It's a little mushy for the little ones, but I look forward to making it again for the adults. - 14 Aug 2011