White Risotto in Spinach Broth

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Apples for Jam

Apples for Jam

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2010

  • About

Just a suggestion for what to do with your spinach cooking water. My children’s favourite food is white rice or pasta with parmesan and olive oil or butter. Boiling the pasta with a spinach or other vegetable broth, I feel, makes it more tasty and healthy. So, next time you boil broccoli or spinach, save the cooking water. I often boil the spinach quickly to fill an omelette as a second course, then cook rice in the water for a first-course risotto.


  • 1 litre(35 fl oz/4 cups) spinach cooking water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, peeled but left whole
  • 300 g(10½ oz) risotto rice
  • 50 g( oz) parmesan cheese, grated
  • 30 g(1 oz) butter
  • a little freshly grated nutmeg
  • grated parmesan cheese, to serve


Put the spinach broth in a large pan and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to keep it at a slow simmer. Heat the oil in another large saucepan. Add the onion and rice and cook over medium–high heat for about 30 seconds, stirring to coat the rice with oil. Reduce the heat to low and stir in a ladleful of hot broth. Season with salt (depending on whether your broth is already seasoned) and, when the broth has been absorbed, stir in another ladleful.

Continue in this way for about 20 minutes until the broth has been used up and the rice is soft but still a little bit firm in the centre. If you run out of spinach broth before the rice is tender just carry on with boiling water. This risotto is best when it’s left a little liquidy, like a thick soup. Check for salt, fish out the onion and stir in the parmesan, butter and nutmeg. When the butter has melted, ladle the risotto into serving bowls and serve immediately with extra parmesan and black pepper for whoever wants it.