Cheat’s risotto with couscous, wild mushrooms, chestnuts, spinach and Parmesan. This easy and filling recipe is ready in under 30 minutes.
I can’t believe it has taken me this long to post this cheat’s risotto recipe – because it happens to be my go-to meal whenever I am stressed, tired or, let’s not be coy, hungover. I was all three today and in need of comfort food big time. When I say cheat’s risotto I really mean it – it’s not risotto at all technically, seeing as it doesn’t contain rice but giant couscous. I threw in a bag of frozen wild mushrooms straight from the freezer, a handful of cooked peeled chestnuts, spinach and Parmesan cheese. Only a handful of ingredients, but when brought together deliciousness happens with minimum effort!
To make the dish vegetarian you have to use veggie Parmesan and to make it vegan then skip it altogether. If, on the other hand, you want to make it meaty, then a bit of cooked chicken is delicious in this dish and perfect way to use up roast leftovers. If you can’t find wild mushrooms you can use button chestnut mushrooms instead. And if chestnuts don’t float your boat – I adore them– you can leave them our or replace with walnuts which add a welcome crunch. The spinach can also be replaced with kale or other greens – this is a versatile and easygoing recipe. Finish by garnishing with grated or shaved Parmesan and a drizzle of truffle oil – delicious!
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 shallots, peeled and finely diced
- 300g | 10½ oz wild mushrooms, diced if large (I used frozen)
- 100g | 3½ oz peeled and cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped
- 1 cup giant couscous
- 450ml | 2 cups hot vegetable stock (you might not need to use it all)
- 150 | 5½oz fresh spinach
- small piece of (vegetarian) Parmesan rind (optional)
- 2 tbsp grated (vegetarian) Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to season
- fresh chopped flat leaf parsley to serve
- truffle oil to serve (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Fry the shallots over low heat for about 5 minutes until softened.
- Increase the heat and add the mushrooms and chestnuts. If using frozen mushrooms you can use them straight from frozen. Cook for 5 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Add the couscous, cheese rind (if using) and stir to combine. Gradually add the hot stock and simmer until the couscous is almost cooked through, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add more stock when the liquid is absorbed.
- Tip in the spinach and stir until it wilts – it will only need a couple of minutes.
- Take out the cheese rind and stir in the grated cheese until it melts.
- Serve with a generous sprinking of finely chopped flat leaf parsley, extra Parmesan and a drizzle of truffle oil.
Replace wild mushrooms with chestnut mushrooms and the chestnuts with chopped walnuts if you prefer.