In addition to that, while visiting our Steven in Barcelona, my mum and dad also brought us some delicious Spanish hard goat's cheese.
So what with all this delightful produce knocking about our house, I decided to make one of Bailey's favourites for our "First Day Back at School" dinner on Monday: a good risotto.
Bailey loves risotto and I find it a really easy meal to make, simply due to the fact I have made it so very many times I think I could actually make it in my sleep.
We eat risotto so often, but it's only every now and again on weekends and when we have guests over that I put the real effort into making it really scrummy. So imagine my surprise when this particular risotto was absolutely ace (even if I say so myself) - possibly one of the yummiest risottos I've ever made! It must have been because of the lovely ingredients!
Another trick I've been using lately which seems to make risottos really yummy is to add three or four desert spoons of natural yogurt to the risotto once all the liquid has been absorbed by the rice, right before adding the cheese. This seems to work wonders.
Bailey described the risotto as "beautiful" which made me happy. He said it was "creamy with crunchy vegetables" and it looked fresh and colourful due to all the different colours of the veg. We both enjoyed a second portion of it the next day at lunch. Not quite so glam when eaten out of a tupperware in the staff room at school but yummy all the same.
Recipe (serves 4):
2 medium yellow squashes (or courgettes)
2 garlic cloves
1 large red pepper
400g Arborio rice
1 litre of vegetable stock
4 dessert spoons of natural yogurt
160g hard goat's cheese
Handful of basil leaves
Chop the squash, onions and peppers into rustic chunks. Put the squash on to fry with the onions. Add the garlic and fry until fragrant. Add the red pepper and fry until softened but not mushy- the veg should still have a nice bit of bite.
Add the risotto rice to the pan and fry for a couple of minutes while you're sorting your veggie stock out.
Add the veggie stock gradually, stirring at regular intervals until the stock is absorbed by the rice. Continue to add stock until the rice is perfectly al dente and cooked to your taste. If the stock is all absorbed and the rice is still underdone, add some boiled water until the rice is soft enough.
Take the risotto off the heat. Add the natural yogurt to the risotto and stir well. Add the cheese and stir well again.
Cover the pan with a lid. Leave the risotto to "rest" for around 10 minutes. Once you lift off the lid a cloud of steam will escape and you will be left with a really yummy risotto. Mmm! Serve with a crisp salad or, as Bailey likes, a lovely bit of garlic bread.