On to the plate

Experimenting with flavours, colours and style of food served at our place

Saffron Spinach & Turkey Risotto

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The day had come to make the Risotto with the left over Turkey, but more than that, to see if the Turkey stock I made was worth the effort. Yes, yes it was.


This is the second time I’ve made this risotto, a recipe I came across in my book Simple Pleasures by Annabel Langbein. I also found the recipe online so feel free to head on over there if you like. You’ll also find many other tasty recipes.


The Turkey Stock I packaged up yesterday had gone all jelly-like and I was hoping with a little heat it would liquefy. Another yes. And I splurged and used Parmigiano Reggiano cheese instead of the usual Parmesan.

I bought what I thought was Garlic, that’s what you see in front of the jug of stock. But it didn’t mince up the same and it didn’t smell the same. I added a little of what I minced not convinced it was Garlic. But if it’s not, what is it? It looks like giant garlic. The bulb only has about 3 or 4 clove.


The first time I cooked the risotto I used what I consider to be the usual method. Ladle a spoonful of stock and then continue to stir to massage it into the rice. But that’s not the method Annabel uses. This time I stayed true to her instruction and it turned out better. Last time the rice was just a little too under done, despite it having a “tiny, hard, white core in the centre”. However I did have to continue to cook the rice a bit longer than suggested. After 15 minutes there was too much liquid left and the rice seemed about the same as my first attempt, so I knew I needed more cooking. I also think my low heat perhaps wasn’t quite enough to simmer. So I turned the heat up a little bit, replaced the lid and left it another 3 minutes, then checked again and left it another 2 minutes more. I also thought more seasoning was required but I held off until I’d added the last ingredients knowing the type of cheese I was using was more flavourful than the usual Parmesan I use.

Saffron Spinach Risotto


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1½ cups risotto rice
  • ½ cup white wine
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 25-30 saffron threads
  • 5-6 cups hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • 4 handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • 1-2 tbsp butter


  • Heat oil in a deep, heavy-based saucepan and gently fry onion and garlic until soft but not browned (about 5 minutes).
  • Add rice and stir over heat for 2 minutes to lightly toast. Add wine, salt and pepper and cook a further 2 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.
  • Add saffron threads to 5 cups hot stock, then add to rice mixture. Stir to combine, cover and simmer over a very low heat until almost cooked (about 15 minutes). At this point, test the rice – it should have a tiny, hard, white core in the centre of each grain, which means it is nearly ready. If the core is bigger, cook another few minutes. It needs to be almost cooked before you add the final ingredients. If the rice begins to dry out, add another ½-1 cup of hot stock or water – it should look very soupy.
  • Stir in the spinach, parmesan and butter, cover and cook another 2-3 minutes until the rice is fully cooked through but still al dente (it will continue to cook once removed from the heat, so take care not to overcook it).
  • Remove from heat and allow to stand for 2-3 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve.


I added the left over turkey at the time of adding the Spinach, Cheese and butter. I also halved the recipe since it’s just Mr Fussy and I at home at the moment. While I had 3 cups of stock I didn’t pour all of it in, I had probably about 3/4 cup left. How much of a simmer you have when cooking the rice will determine how much (or little) of the stock you need. I suggest holding a little bit back and adding it if you need.


We added more cracked pepper and a bit of cheese, and I didn’t need to add any further seasoning after the last ingredients had been added. It all came together beautifully. And the turkey made this dish a little more special. Yum!

We followed this with dessert (not that we needed it). Can you believe it was the very first time I’ve eaten fresh Blueberries without them being an ingredient in another dish. The Lemon Curd Ice Cream I’d made, with the Rich Chocolate Sauce warmed through, poured over the ice cream and blueberries made this possibly one of the nicest summery desserts I’ve had. So simple yet such great flavours.


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