Paleo Risotto with White Beans (no rice)
I thought today would be a good day to post one of our family’s all time favorite gluten free winter dinners. It is the Southern Hemisphere’s Winter Solstice after all!
From now on, the days get a little longer and it’s here on up to Spring and Summer. Yeah…
This is a very flexible recipe. Sometimes I add a tin of rinsed kidney beans or a few red chillis (if the kids aren’t home) for something different. You can add and subtract whatever you have on hand to the basic recipe. Just the way I like to cook!
Below is the basic recipe: (serves 6)
2 Tbsp of olive oil (extra virgin) or coconut oil
1 large red onion, finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, crushed & finely sliced
3 fresh bay leaves or dried if no fresh available
2 x 400g tins cherry tomatoes or 800g fresh tomatoes, diced
4 chorizo sausages, casings removed, chopped into small cubes
3 x 400g tins cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (optional replace 1 of the tins with kidney beans)
2 tins white butter beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups tomato passata
1/4 cup red or white wine (whatever you have in the kitchen – also an optional ingredient)
1 Tbsp fresh or 1/2 Tbsp dried thyme leaves
1 Tbsp fresh or 1/2 Tbspdried oregano leaves
1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock (we make our own – see how below)
1/2 a lemon squeezed (approx 1 tbsp juice)
1/3 cup grated parmesan + more to serve (omit for Paleo version)
8 – 10 fresh basil leaves, torn
salt & pepper to season
Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until the onion has softened.
Add chorizo to the pan and stir for 3-4 minutes or until browned.
Add wine (if using). Simmer for 1 minute or until the wine is reduced.
Add the tomatoes and passata. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes or until cooked through and thickened.
Meanwhile, crush 3/4 of the canellini and butter beans with a potato masher (plus kidney beans if using).
Add the thyme, oregano and bay leaves then add all the beans. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes, until softened.
Add the chicken stock. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Taste and season if necessary. Stir until creamy.
Add the lemon juice and parmesan (if using) and stir.
To serve, divide risotto among bowls. Top with the torn basil leaves and sprinkle with extra parmesan.
Here is an easy way to get the most out of a whole, cooked chicken.
We always buy organic, free range chickens for our meat. They are a little more expensive, however, by the time we have made a roast chicken dinner, used the leftovers for sandwiches or salads and then boiled the bones into stock, it is quite economical. Better for the chickens and better for us (if our dog could eat cooked chicken bones it would be perfect).
To make your own, very simple chicken stock.
Cover the leftover carcass and bones from a roasted, whole chicken with about 1.5 – 2 inches filtered water. (Make sure you have removed the stuffing or filling from the cavity first, otherwise you might end up with a lemon flavored stock like I did once!)
Cover the pot and boil over a very low heat for 6-8 hours or until the liquid has reduced by about 1/3 and the carcass has fallen apart.
Let it cool. Skim any froth and fat from the top of your stock with a mesh spoon. Remove the large bones and discard. Strain the remaining liquid through a fine mesh sieve over a large container or jar with a water tight lid. This will remove any remaining bones and grizzly bits.
Seal the container, write the date on a sticker, put the sticker on your container and pop your fresh stock in the fridge or freezer ready for use.
Makes approximately 1 – 1.5 litres of stock and will keep for up to 3 months if frozen.