Field Mushroom & Artichoke Risotto

Field Mushroom and Artichoke Risotto

We took our wee boy out for his first restaurant experience last week. I'm not sure he appreciated it, as you can see, he slept through the whole experience, but it was very enjoyable for the rest of us.

The restaurant we went to was The Glass House in St Andrews and we will definitely be going back again. The whole meal was delicious, the interior was very sleek and modern, with lots of levels, nooks and crannies and the staff were charming.

Baked Field Mushroom 
topped with garlic butter, grilled goats cheese and a parmesan and herb crumb

Wild Mushroom, Sundried Tomato and Artichoke Risotto 
with fresh basil and parmesan cheese

Mixed Fruit Cheesecake



Homemade Risotto

You can see where this is going, can't you?  I knew I was going to have to have that risotto again soon and so I made risotto for dinner last night. I left out the sun-dried tomatoes, as I didn't really appreciate them in this dish and I do think the risotto was better without them.

Field Mushroom & Artichoke Risotto


2 tbsp olive oil
1 fat clove garlic, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 large field mushrooms, sliced
½ jar artichoke antipasti, drained and rinsed and chopped (280g jar)
1 cup arborio rice
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cup white wine
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 knob butter
salt & freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated vegetarian parmesan to serve


  1. Fry the mushrooms in 1 tbsp olive oil until soft and succulent, before adding the artichoke pieces.
  2. In a heavy bottomed pan, saute the onion and garlic in 1 tbsp olive oil until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the rice and mix through until well coated with the oil. Add a ladleful of hot stock and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Continue in this fashion with the rest of the stock and the wine, until the rice is creamy, but still has a little bite to it.
  3. Add the mushrooms and artichokes to the risotto. Season to taste and then add a knob of butter and mix through until the butter has melted.
  4. Serve with freshly grated vegetarian parmesan and enjoy.

Serves 2-3 (depending on the need for another spoonful)

If you liked this risotto you may like to try


Easy as Pie (Pasties)

You can always tell that Burn's Night is on the horizon when the supermarkets start stockpiling haggis on groaningly full shelves. They are everywhere you turn! I really don't mind though, I quite like haggis, well veggie haggis, obviously (I wouldn't eat the timorous wee beastie), but I tend to forget about it during the year, until this not-so-gentle reminder appears.

What is Burns Night?

Burns Night is the night we celebrate our national poet Robert Burns, who we also call Rabbie Burns (it's more Scottish!). He was born four centuries ago and only lived into his thirties but he made such a big impression on us, that we celebrate his birthday, the 25th of January every year with the recital of his poems and ballads, sitting down to a Burns Supper (which of course includes haggis, or veggie haggis, which is piped into the room by a bagpiper) and if you are lucky a wild ceilidh (Scottish barn dance).

What is vegetarian haggis made from?

Vegetarian haggis is made for a delicious blend of root vegetables, pulses, oats, spices and seeds. When it is bought ready-made it can instantly be added to many dishes including pasties, veggie burgers, scotch eggs, clangers, puff pastry pies, beer battered haggis bonbons and red lentil and haggis nut loaf.

This year I wasn't stuck for ideas as I threw a couple of vegetarian haggis in my trolley. Back in December Mangocheeks made some truly inspirational Clapshot Vegetarian Haggis Tikkia, which is on my make-soon list and Johanna went haggis-crazy and made nachos, pasties and crepes with her veggie haggis.

I just wanted something quick and easy to make, so I bought some ready made shortcrust pastry and some nachos, salsa, guacamole and sour cream. I didn't really enjoy the haggis with nachos, but I am not a great lover of nachos at the best of times. Graham enjoyed them, so that was the main thing. However, the pasties were fabulous! So tasty, very filling and so quick and easy to make.

Here is my how-to-guide for quick veggie haggis pasties:

Easy Vegetarian Haggis Pasties

1. Preheat the oven to 200c/400f/gas mark 6.

2. Roll your shortcrust pastry fairly thinly and cut into discs. I cut mine using a small glass bowl measuring 13 cm/5 inches, but you can make your pasties any size you want depending on your whim.
3. Spread mustard across half of your pastry disc. I used wholegrain mustard, a favourite of mine. The mustard is optional, but it works so well with the haggis and potato.
4. Spoon some haggis on the pastry, being careful not to add too much or you will have problems later when you come to seal the pasty.
5. Add a few cubes of boiled potato to your filling, then season with pepper. Brush the edge of your pastry disc with milk to seal.
6. Fold the pastry over the filling to make a half moon shape and seal by crimping the edge with your thumb and forefinger. Cut slits into the pastry to let out the steam and them brush the pasty with milk or an egg wash for a lovely golden finish.
7. Bake the pasties in a preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden.
8. Break open and enjoy while they are still hot, then enjoy the leftover pasties, if there are any, the next day cold for lunch.

These pasties are great made this quick and easy way, but do make your own pastry and haggis, if you have the time. I use Delia Smith's recipe for shortcrust pastry, which is always successful and if I was going to make my own haggis, I would definitely use Johanna's recipe.

Here are a few more Burns Night Recipes:

1 Clapshot and Vegetarian Haggis - Allotment to Kitchen
2 Clapshot Vegetarian Haggis Tikkia - Allotment to Kitchen
3 Haggis with Warm Butter Bean and Spinach Salad - The World Famous Burns Supper
4 Vegetarian Haggis Pakoras - Food Lovers Britain
5 Vegetarian Haggis Nachos - Green Gourmet Giraffe
6 Haggis, Neeps & Tatties Pasties - Green Gourmet Giraffe
7 Haggis, Neeps & Tatties Crepe Stack - Green Gourmet Giraffe
8 Vegetarian Haggis and Winter Tzatziki Wraps - Mostly Eating
9 Baked Onions with Vegetarian Haggis - The Foody
10 Vegan Haggis - Veg World

Chocolate Fudge Brownies

Well actually it is more like chocolate fondant. This is another brownie recipe from the little Good Food Magazine book - 101 Chocolate Treats.

It didn't work out quite as planned. When I was whisking up the final mixture, I was eyeing the quantity in the bowl and looking at my brownie pan and thinking "no way, is that going to fit!", so I decided to spilt the mixture between a 9 inch/23cm spring form cake tin and a 8 inch/20cm square brownie pan.

I poured most of the mixture into the cake pan, I filled it ¾ of the the way up and poured the rest of the mixture into the brownie pan. The cake I baked for 45 minutes until papery on top and wobbly, this produced the gooey texture of a dessert. I put the brownie in for 20-25 minutes and used a skewer to see if it was ready. When the skewer came out quite clean I took it out and this resulted in a lovely chewy brownie. Two for the price of one.

I will give you the original recipe, with cup measures added and you can decide which way you would like to try it.

Chocolate Brownies

375g/13oz dark chocolate, chopped
375g/13oz butter, diced
500g/1lb 2oz/2 ¾ cups caster sugar
6 medium eggs (I always use large, this might have been why there was so much mixture)
225g/8oz/2 cups plain flour

Preheat oven to 180c/Gas 4/fan oven 160c. Butter and line a 30 x 21cm/12 x 8¼ inch cake tin. Melt the chocolate with the butter in a bowl over a pan of hot water.

Beat the sugar and eggs in a bowl. Stir in the melted chocolate, add the flour and beat well. Pour into the tin and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the top looks papery and feels slightly wobbly. Leave to cool in the tin.

Makes 24 brownies
or my way, 1 deep brownie cake and 1 pan of chewy brownies

The original recipe called for a topping of melted chocolate followed by a dusting of icing sugar, but I didn't bother. To be honest, I forgot. I had visitors while I was making the brownies. Easily distracted, that's me! We had a piece of the brownie the first night and then a slice of the cake today with cream. I think it would be lovely warm with ice cream too.

Toffee Pecan Brownies

You are going to like this recipe!

A moist chocolate brownie, with a fudgey caramel layer, studded with pecans and topped with gooey toffee sauce. Need I say more?

I got this recipe from a nifty little book called 101 Chocolate Treats. A tiny, wee book from those lovely people at the Good Food Magazine. I have added cup measures for ease of use.

Toffee Pecan Brownies

100g/4oz dark chocolate, chopped
175g/6oz butter, diced
250g bag creamy toffees
5 tbsp double cream
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
350g/12oz/2 cups caster sugar
200g/7oz/2 cups & 2 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
100g/4oz pecan nuts, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 180c/gas 4/fan oven 160c.

Line a brownie pan with greaseproof paper (I use my round cake tin inserts, they fit when pushed into the corners).

Melt the chocolate with the butter.

Melt the toffees with the cream.

Lightly beat the eggs with the vanilla, stir into the melted chocolate with the sugar. Sieve in the flour and the baking powder, mixing lightly. Stir in the pecans.

Pour half the mixture into the brownie pan and drizzle over ¾ of the toffee sauce. Spread over the rest of the brownie mixture.

Bake for 40-45 minutes until firm to the touch. Leave to cool.

Reheat the remaining sauce and spread over the brownie cake before cutting into squares.

Makes 16 squares

(the original recipe included extra chocolate to drizzle over the brownies at the end, but I think this is overkill quite frankly. The toffee sauce is utterly divine on it's own. I will be using it again for other bakes.)

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