Charred red pepper and artichoke heart risotto


This was a bit of a something from nothing triumph. I have this habit of getting to an hour before dinner before I start to think what I want to cook. By this time it is too late to defrost any meat and I don’t have time to dash to the shops. Pasta is a common choice at such moments, but on this occasion we had gone the pasta route twice already in the week.

The only inspiring thing I could find in my kitchen was a jar of artichoke hearts. After a little thought I rejected the obvious idea of artichoke heart and green olive sandwiches and came up with this recipe.

Quantities for 4.


  • 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
  • 2 Tbsp clarified butter
  • ½ small onion, chopped
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • ½ cup red wine
  • artichoke hearts
  • 1 red bell pepper, whole
  • large knob of butter
  • splash or balsamic vinegar
  • a few grinds of black pepper
  • plenty of parmigiana



  1. Prepare as per Risotto base, but use ½ cup red wine instead of white.
  2. Meanwhile, char the pepper over a flame or on your grill.
  3. When slightly blackened all round, leave it to cool.
  4. Deseed and roughly chop the pepper. Chop the artichoke hearts.
  5. Add to the risotto 3 minutes before it is done.
  6. Finish with a the butter and the balsamic.
  7. Plate and serve with black pepper and parmigiana.

What you should know

The balsamic was the stroke of genius that made this work for me. Not only did it add a slight edge, but it changed the color from insipid pink to a richer deeper… well still pink, but not so bad.

Re: Charred red pepper and artichoke heart risotto