Lifestyle editor Emma Williamson serves up a main, side and dessert for two.
Artichoke and leek risotto
- 1tsp of olive oil
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, diced
- Half a leek, washed and sliced
- 1tsp of dried thyme
- 100g of marinated artichoke hearts (in oil), drained and sliced
- 150g of arborio rice
- 100ml of dry white wine
- 1l of vegetable stock, made with 2tsp of Marigold bouillon powder (or with a stock cube of your preference)
- In a large pan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, leek and thyme, and cook on a medium heat until soft.
- Once the onions have cooked, decrease the heat slightly and add the arborio rice. Allow the rice to cook for roughly three minutes, or until it begins to look translucent. Stir the mixture regularly to ensure that it does not stick.
- Increase the heat and add the wine to the pan, stirring continually. Once the wine has absorbed, pour in a small amount of the stock, and continue to stir. Once this stock has been absorbed, add more and continue to repeat this process for 15 minutes. Should you run out of stock, use boiling water instead.
- Once 15 minutes have passed, turn the heat down and stir in the sliced artichokes. Serve with vegetables or a salad of your choice.
Roasted Mediterranean vegetables
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 1 large courgette, sliced
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
- 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and sliced
- 100g of cherry tomatoes, left whole
- 3 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
- 2tbsp of olive oil
- 2tsp of lemon juice
- A handful of fresh basil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- In a large roasting tin, arrange the sliced onion, courgette, peppers and tomatoes. Add the cloves of garlic and drizzle with the olive oil.
- Ensure that the vegetables are evenly coated with oil before seasoning with the salt and pepper. Cover the tin with foil and place it in the oven for 25 minutes.
- After 25 minutes, remove the tin from the oven and remove the foil. Give the vegetables a stir and return them to the oven for 10 minutes.
- Once removed from the oven, drizzle the vegetables with lemon juice and scatter over fresh basil.
- Serve as a side dish to the accompanied risotto, or as a meal of their own with grilled halloumi cheese and pita bread.
- 200g of digestive biscuits, crushed
- 100g of melted butter or spread
- 300g of Philadelphia Original soft cheese
- 300ml of double cream
- 300g of good quality dark chocolate, melted
- 1tsp of instant coffee dissolved into 30ml of boiling water
- Using some of the melted butter, grease the base of a 25cm springform tin before lining it with greaseproof paper.
- In a large bowl, mix together the crushed biscuits and melted butter until well blended and evenly covered. Add the mixture to the lined tin and press firmly into the base. Cover the tin with clingfilm and allow it to chill in a refridgerator for at least 30 minutes.
- In another large mixing bowl, beat the cream and Philadelphia until well blended. Add the melted chocolate and coffee mixture and mix thoroughly.
- Remove the tin from the fridge and set aside the clingfilm. Pour the chocolate mixture onto the biscuit base and spread evenly, before re-covering with clingfilm and placing back in the fridge.
- Allow the cheesecake to set for at least six hours, or preferably overnight, before serving.