Lettuce risotto

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Serves: 4

By bealos

(5 Votes) 6


  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1.2l vegetable stock

  • 300g arborio rice

  • 1 white onion finely chopped (or 2 or 3 shallots)

  • 100g petit pois or peas

  • 1 lettuce finely shredded (large, or use two little gem lettuces)

  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped

  • 1 handful grated Parmesan (to serve)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy based pan and add the onion or shallots. Cook until starting to soften then add the garlic clove and cook for 1-2 minutes so the onion starts to turn translucent, not brown.
  2. Add the arborio rice to the pan, and stir well so that each grain of rice is coated with oil.
  3. Pour in a ladleful of hot stock and stir until it has been absorbed by the rice then add another. Continue to add stock at intervals in this way, stirring all the time.
  4. After about 15 minutes, when the rice is almost done but still just a little bit chalky in the middle, add the shredded lettuce and the petit pois or peas. Stir gently to mix together. At first, it will seem as if you have added far too much lettuce but the lettuce will soon wilt and give up its juices to the rice.
  5. Add the last few ladles of stock.
  6. The risotto is ready when all the liquid has been absorbed, the peas are just tender and the rice is cooked (about 5 minutes after you've added the lettuce). It should be creamy, not dry.
  7. Taste and season. Serve immediately, offering Parmesan and a grater to those eating!

Additional Information

  • italian

  • peas

  • Make Ahead

  • Kids can help

  • Rice

  • Low fat

  • Vegetarian

  • Nut Free

  • Egg Free

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  • thingamajig 29/07/11 21:31

    Great recipe, I did this last night. We grow lettuce and cooking it reduces the 'not salad again' feeling. Also I left out the garlic and added lots of mint (we also have lots that isn't in its tender flushes of greeness) which was yummy - it really complements the peas and lettuce.

  • TwentiethCenturyHeffa 01/07/10 12:33

    We were both a sceptical but decided to give this a go and it was delicious! Really full of flavour and a great way of using up lettuce.

  • Rumbled 24/06/10 13:31

    I haven't tried this exact recipe, but I have cooked Hugh Fearnley Wotsit's one several times, and truly, a lettuce risotto can be gorgeous. I hate regular lettuce, but in a risotto, I can use up a hole lettuce from my veg box - so no waste - and it's tasty. I add a knob of butter to serve, tons of seasoning, and sometimes a drizzle of cream. Delicious.

  • TeamEdward 22/06/10 20:38

    Really enjoyed this risotto. DH and DC were sceptical at first, but thought it was very tasty. We didn't have any parmesan, but a good grating of creamy lancashire cheese was delicious too!

  • VanillaPumpkin 18/02/08 18:19

    I have to admit to being sceptical about the lettuce but this dish was a triumph! I did add some left over chicken too but without it it would have been delicious as well. DH and the dd's (5 and 2) wolfed it down. Great!

  • bealos 11/01/08 16:33

    After being a bit perplexed about what to do with my lettuce in the cold weather, I found and adapted this recipe ? it?s Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall?s proof of the cookability of lettuces. Any type will work except iceberg, with butterhead varieties working best. A mixture of types gives an interesting breadth of flavours, and a smattering of baby peas sets the whole thing off nicely. It?s great ? I?d never had expected to cook with lettuce ? and has a lovely nutty flavour to the creamy risotto.