I know, I know, I posted a chicken or turkey risotto after Thanksgiving and so you are possibly thinking I am either obsessed with risotto or else can’t think of anything else to do with leftovers. Well, both are semi-true but this is really such a delicious dish I have put aside what you might think of me in the interests of letting you know about this leftover sprouts risotto. It is also a great way to use up any leftovers from my brussel sprouts recipe, or indeed any plainer brussel sprouts you may have from your Christmas meal (just add some of whatever you are missing, or you can miss out, though probably not the bacon). It equally works well from scratch, and I have given the description for both below.
As with many risottos, it is basically a one-pot dish and is pretty flexible in ingredients but I think the combination of brussel sprouts, bacon, carrot and a little balsamic vinegar here, along with your core stock, wine and garlic, come together to give a wonderfully colorful and delicious combination. This is not a bland risotto but one full of flavor, and it is great to enjoy on a cold day. Risotto is a dish that can be enjoyed by young and old and is, as I said before, a favorite in our house, particularly at this time of year.
If you do make it from scratch, the key is to cook the brussel sprouts and bacon first, take them out, cook the rest of the risotto then put the sprouts and bacon back in. This way they don’t lose their flavor into the stock as you cook the rice. However, you do get that delicious bacon fat in there as you cook everything else. If you are using leftovers, you may need a bit more butter to make up for the fact you won’t have the bacon fat in there.
Leftover sprouts risotto
- 1 cup leftover brussel sprouts with bacon and chestnuts or the next three ingredients
- 3-5 brussel sprouts depending on size, quartered and sliced
- 2 rashers streaky bacon, sliced
- 5 cooked chestnuts broken up
- 1 tbsp butter 10g
- 1/2 onion a little less if using leftovers, as above, diced small
- 1/2 leek halved lengthwise and sliced
- 1 clove garlic large, finely diced or crushed
- 1 carrot diced small
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 3 cups light stock
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan 20g
- 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- If making from scratch - heat a pan over a medium heat and add the bacon slices. Cook for around 5mins to allow the fat to render and bacon to cook. Add the brussel sprouts and chestnuts and cook in the bacon fat for a couple minutes until sprouts have softened. Remove from the pan and use same pan for the rest of the risotto.
- Both versions - add the butter to a pan over a medium heat and once melted, add the onion, leek and garlic. Cook for around 5min until softened.
- Add the carrot and cook a couple minutes.
- Add the rice, stir and cook a minute or two so that the rice is well coated in the butter. If needed, add a little more butter or some olive oil.
- Add the wine and stir. Once the wine has been absorbed, add the stock a little at a time (around 1/2 - 1 cup at a time) and stir now and again. Keep topping up the liquid as it is absorbed to keep the rice covered until it is cooked through.
- Once rice is cooked, add back or add the brussel sprouts/bacon/chestnut mixture and stir through.
- Add the parmesan and balsamic vinegar, mix through and serve topped with parmesan.