Slow cooker mushroom and spinach risotto

Slow cooker mushroom and spinach risotto

Serves 4


Cost: £2.62, or 63p per person

It may be officially spring, but it's been feeling very chilly around these parts. One of my favourite comfort foods - throughout veggie and non-veggie phases alike - has always been a big warming cheesy bowl of risotto. Purists will be cringing at the sight of this. No, it's not authentic, but it is easy, warming, cheap and delicious (if I say so myself).

When you're feeling a little more summery, this is lovely served in smaller portions with a big tangle of lemony rocket and a liberal grinding of black pepper - yummy!

Ingredients

Vegetable oil/butter (just under a tbsp) 2p
1 onion, chopped 7p
2 garlic cloves, minced 5p
2 veg stock cubes 4p
Dried thyme, 1 heaped tsp 7p
White wine/vermouth, one large glass (optional)
400g punnet of value mushrooms, sliced 99p
100g of frozen spinach (about four "lumps") 15p
100g hard cheese, to serve 57p
300g arborio risotto rice 66p
Fresh parsley, to serve (optional, from the window sill!)

Can be made vegan if you omit the cheese - either replace with vegan cheese or stir in a few chopped sundried tomatoes for richness of flavour!

Method

Gently fry the onion and garlic in the oil/butter until softened. Then add the mushrooms and cook until browned and releasing moisture. Add the rice and fry for a further two minutes. Tip in the mushrooms, spinach, thyme, stock cubes, wine (if using) and then cook on low for 4 hours, stirring once in the middle of cooking, if you can.

Note: rice left at room temperature for too long can cause horrible food poisoning - if you have leftovers (we like to have ours for lunch the next day) cool as quickly as possible, refrigerate and eat within 24 hours!

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