Risotto with Lentils and Spinach

First, a disclaimer:  I was tending the stove; keeping the home fires burning and all that rot.  It's been warm enough that we only light it in the evenings.

As usual, I lit the fire starter (little cubes of fuel), arranged a few logs and left it.

I'd forgotten that I'd cleaned it out this morning.  Fires do not like a clean stove…. They like a nice thick bed of ash.

It went out.

I went to throw another log on and there was no fire.

I lit another fire starter in my hand (which, in itself, is kind of stupid) and dropped it in between two logs.

It went out.

I couldn't see it so a grabbed one of the logs to move it slightly to get a match in.

I grabbed it with my fingers.

My eyes did not see flames therefore there were none.

But there were glowing coals on the inside of the log…. that I grabbed.

It's just fingertip burns (that hurt like hell).

I just wanted to warn you in case my typing is worse than usual. 

That's my excuse!

You, on the other hand, have no excuse not to try this risotto.

My long time readers know that I love risotto.

They also know that it's easy to make, not high in fat or calories and you don't have to stir constantly.

I occasionally get a bit carried away with adding things in – as I did here. 

This combines three of my favorite foods: lentils, spinach and risotto.


It was fantastic!

For a vegetarian (or Lenten) version, omit the Prosciutto and use vegetable stock.

Spinach Lentil Risotto

Risotto with Lentils and Spinach  for two

2/3 cup Arborio rice (or other rice specifically for risotto – Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)
1/2 cup dry, white wine
2 1/4 cups chicken stock
1/2 leek other half for the condimenti
1 tbs butter
3/4 cup (3oz, 90gr) Parmesan cheese – freshly grated

Cook lentils (see Condimenti)
Heat chicken stock and keep hot over low heat. Trim leek, cut in half the long way and thinly slice.  In medium saucepan heat butter; add 1/2 of the leek and sauté until tender.  Add rice and sauté, stirring, for 2 – 3 minutes until rice has white center. Add white wine and stir.

Start condimenti.
When wine is almost absorbed add a 1/3 cup of stock, stir. (No need to stir constantly but do stir from time to time.) When stock is almost absorbed add another 1/3 cup and continue adding 1/3 cup at a time and stirring. Before you add the last 1/3 cup taste a few kernels of rice. They should be just 'al dente' – slightly resistant to the tooth but fully cooked. If more stock is needed add it 1 tbs at a time and waiting until almost completely absorbed. At this point risotto will be thick but not stiff – there will still be visible liquid and it will not hold it's shape on a plate.
Add the Parmesan and the condimenti stir well, pour into a bowl or risotto platter and serve immediately.
It will continue to absorb liquid and the leftovers (if any) will be quite stiff.

The risottos that we have eaten in northern Italy have all been served in soup plates (flattish bowls) and eaten with a spoon – not a fork.


1/4 small, green Lentils du Puy
1 cup beef stock
1/2 leek
2 shallots
4oz (120gr) fresh spinach
4oz (120gr) Prosciutto, thinly sliced
2 tsp olive oil

Cook lentils in beef stock until tender.
Chop shallots and Prosciutto.  Prepare spinach, tearing big leaves. 
Sauté leeks, shallots in oil until until tender, 6 – 8 minutes. Add Prosciutto and sauté 5 minutes longer. Turn heat to low and keep warm until needed
When lentils are done, drain and add to skillet  Just before adding condimenti to risotto, add spinach to skillet and cover briefly – just to start wilting.

Spinach Lentil Ham Risotto

It was pretty, too.

We ate the whole thing…

My fingers feel better – thanks for asking…..

8 thoughts on “Risotto with Lentils and Spinach”

  1. Katie – that would be something I would do too!! We love risottos in this house as well – this one looks wonderful. I can hardly wait to try, what a perfect combination.

  2. Love this risotto recipe, hate it that you burned your fingers. That’s a trick I save for grabbing the cast iron skillet handle when it’s still red hot from being in the oven.

  3. The idea of risotto drew me to your post on this rainy Friday afternoon…the perfect dish to warm us up! We haven`t had a fire in our woodstove for a week or 2, but we may fire it up tonight too. (pardon the pun) Theresa

  4. I am so sorry about your fingers. Armenians have a saying that if you burn your hand while cooking your food is going to taste good and so I am sure this came out super delicious.

  5. Ina, I’ll put anything in them…
    manningroad, it was very calorie worthy!
    Elizabeth, one day I’ll learn.
    Christine, why I thought a glowing log wouldn’t be hot is beyond me.
    Adelina, I like that!
    Island Vittles, we’ve only been lighting it in the evening, which is nice.
    Peggy, I think my fingertips should be pretty tought by now!

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