Garden Vegetable Risotto

Very rarely do I give myself the chance to just stare into space anymore. Once upon a time I was a Walter Mitty style champion of adventures in the ether. I need to bring that mind-wandering time back into my life: for stress relief, and for creativity to flow.

Risotto is a dish that forces you into a slow down; it encourages a mental hiatus. You are bound to the stove for the better part of half an hour tending to the tide of rice and liquid.

Risotto is active meditation.
You peel and measure. Heat and stir. Add liquid and wait for the magic of absorption and stir and stir and stare out the window while the grains swell and soften.
Shower in your vegetables and herbs and watch them surrender their juices and flavour to the dish.
Just let your mind wander into the night while the cheese binds everything together and then gather at the table and share your imaginings with the one you love.

And the thing you will love about this risotto is that it is easy, and it uses ingredients you probably already have in your cupboard. It’s creamy without being heavy thanks to the creamed corn, which also means that it is lower in fat than traditional risotto. This risotto will save you time after a busy day because even with the grating and chopping it only takes about 40 minutes from start to finish. Enough time to make a cup of tea and let your mind wander.

Garden Vegetable Risotto

Gluten free. Vegetarian, vegan without the cheese.
Serves 4 satisfactorily. Chris’s suggestion: pair with sausages or chicken for an omnivorous meal. A salad would round this out nicely.

Cheddar is what we had on hand, but you can definitely use Parmesan or Pecorino if you have it available.


  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 400 gram tin creamed corn
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1 medium zucchini, grated
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 6 sage leaves finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup grated cheddar, and extra to serve
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Warm stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until transparent.
  3. Add arborio rice and stir until grains are shiny and coated in olive oil.
  4. Add warmed stock one ladle at a time, stirring well between each addition and ensuring that each ladleful is absorbed before adding the next.
  5. When all liquid has been added and mostly absorbed, add creamed corn, grated carrot and zucchini, and peas. Stir well to combine.
  6. Add fresh herbs and simmer for 5 minutes or until the peas are cooked.
  7. Just before serving stir in cheese and season to taste.
  8. Serve with extra cheese.


How do you meditate dear reader? Do you cook? Run? Sit quietly? Me, I run and cook, and dance in the kitchen while singing pop tunes.