The main principle I try to follow when it comes to feeding myself is simple – fruit and veg is good for you, and eating lots of it is A Good Thing. When I first adopted this mantra, I ate a lot of iceberg lettuce and would shovel it down my throat glumly as quickly as possible before moving on to the bits of my plate I actually liked. Yes, this is how clueless I was about food when I first started writing this blog.
But soon I discovered that there were lots of different types of green leafy things sold in bags in the salad aisle in ASDA – baby spinach, chard, rocket, watercress – and eating my greens became a lot more fun. I even now have a video dedicated to making decent salad. I still eat my salad first, because it’s never going to be as nice as the chicken smothered in a smoky tomato sauce that’s taking up the other half, but I actually enjoy eating it now. And I’m getting better at actually cooking with it rather than dumping it on the side of my plate, too.
I’m telling you this because I was recently sent a whole box full of watercress and was challenged to make something delicious with it. Which is why I’m sharing a recipe for this tomato, goat cheese and watercress risotto.
Originally I made a watercress and red pepper risotto, and that was fine but I think it works better with tomato. I wanted the red peppers because the sweetness contrasts nicely with watercress’s natural spicy, peppery taste, but tomatoes work better. Especially if you use something like piccolo tomatoes, which are like cherry tomatoes but extra sweet.
I then added a lot of goat cheese. You don’t have to, but the tomatoes and the watercress are quite a strong flavour and the goat cheese smoothes it out and makes it taste as creamy and delicious as it feels in your mouth.
Watercress has a strong taste, but if you like it then it’s an excellent thing to eat. It’s absolutely full of vitamins and adds a strong punch of flavour to your meal. Watercress.co.uk has a bunch more recipes if you’re interested, but if you’re just tipping your toe into the sea of watercress (weird analogy, sorry) then use my tomato, watercress and goat cheese risotto as a good beginner’s recipe.
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 250g of risotto rice
- 220g of small tomatoes such as piccolo or cherry, halved
- 100g watercress
- 600-750ml of good quality vegetable stock
- 100g of goat cheese, torn into chunks
- In a large saucepan, lightly fry the onion and garlic in a little oil. When the onion is soft, add the rice and stir well to evenly mix everything together
- Add half of the tomatoes and a splash of the stock. Stir constantly until all the stock has been absorbed, then add a little more. Repeat until the rice is cooked to your liking - I prefer it with a little bite
- Add the remaining tomatoes, the goat cheese, and the watercress. Stir through until the goat cheese is completely melted and the watercress is evenly distributed. Serve immediately.