Watercress and Goats Cheese Risotto

Watercress is now in season here in the UK (yippee!) and it is a powerhouse of nutrients. A source of vitamins C, A, K & B6, it also has a higher calcium content than milk and more potassium than a banana. As a source of iron and vitamin C in one it is easy for your body to absorb the iron, getting the most out of this delicious peppery tasting leaf. The flavour of watercress combines well with the creamy, gooiness of goats cheese in this risotto. A scattering of zinc-rich toasted pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of olive oil finish the dish, providing great flavour and texture.

Ingredients:

  • 100g fresh watercress, rinsed and roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 150ml white wine
  • 300g risotto rice
  • 750ml stock (water and a stock cube)
  • 60g grated parmesan or pecorino
  • 150g goats cheese (log)
  • 50g pumpkin seeds
  • Salt and pepper

Method:
  1. Combine the watercress and 1 tbsp olive oil in a food processor with a
  2. little salt and pepper.
  3. Heat the other tbsp oil in an ovenproof shallow casserole dish or frying pan
  4. with a lid
  5. Sauté the onion until soft.
  6. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
  7. Add the wine and allow this to reduce a little before adding the risotto
  8. rice and mopping up all the juices.
  9. Add the stock (water and crumbled stock cube) and stir well then place the
  10. lid on top.
  11. Pop the whole dish into the oven at 180 degrees centigrade for 25-30
  12. minutes. 
  13. Place the pumpkin seeds into a shallow overproof dish in a single layer and
  14. add these to the oven after 20 minutes to toast.
  15. Check the rice in the dish after 25 minutes. The rice should be cooked
  16. through and most of the liquid absorbed. If not, pop the dish back into the
  17. oven for a further 5 minutes. 
  18. Remove, then stir in the watercress/oil from the food processor.
  19. Place the goats cheese on top and scatter over the toasted pumpkin seeds.
  20. Drizzle over a little olive oil before serving.