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Muddy Makes: Summer Vegetable Risotto

Inspired by the kitchen garden at his restaurant in St Ives, Mick Smith shares his Summer Vegetable Risotto for the Comfort Cook Book - raising money for Hospitality in Action.

Comfort Food Cook Book

As the hospitality industry reeled from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, some of the most inspiring chefs from the South West of England have been assembled to donate their recipes and time for this charitable cause.

In this region, we are blessed with an abundance of incredible produce and talented chefs. The producers of this beautiful download hope to showcase these attributes in a cookbook designed to be both delicious and different, simple and achievable, and one which utilises ingredients within the average household budget.

This cookbook is more than a simple collection of recipes. It is a celebration of the South West’s natural larder and the communities who have come together in the midst of a crisis to do what we do best: cook.

Here in the West Country, we’re lucky have access to fresh produce on our doorstep and we hope you’ll find time to support your local growers, producers and farm shops during their time of need.

Make a donation to download the full digital cook book here.

Mick Smith’s Porthminster Kitchen Summer Vegetable Risotto

Mick Smith dreamed of running a restaurant by the sea. His surf-driven wanderings eventually led him to St Ives, where he is now Executive Chef of the Porthminster Beach Cafe, the Porthminster Kitchen and Porthgwidden Beach Café.

The menus at all three restaurants showcase the diversity and versatility of Cornish seafood and other local produce, with dishes drawing inspiration from Asian and Mediterranean cooking.

Mick is a pioneer of ‘hyperlocal food’ as a way of doing justice to the incredible location enjoyed by Porthminster – both by showcasing the amazing produce on his doorstep, and by contributing towards a more sustainable future.

This risotto was inspired by Mick’s kitchen garden and the bountiful months of spring and early summer. You can vary the vegetables depending on what’s available; chard, asparagus, watercress and peas are other options depending on the growing season.

Serves 6


½ small onion, finely diced
½ stalk celery, finely diced
½ bulb fennel, finely diced
50ml Noilly Prat or other dry Vermouth
1 litre of simmering vegetable stock
500g canaroli or arborio rice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 courgette, diced
100g broad beans
25g each of fresh oregano, basil & mint, chopped
1 tsp chives
3 lemons, juiced
10 tbsp parmesan cheese
5 tbsp mascarpone cheese
A small handful of basil leaves, torn


  1. Add the oil to a saucepan and sweat the onion, celery and fennel until soft. Add the rice and toss until the rice is coated and hot to touch. Do not stir the mixture and make sure the rice doesn’t colour.
  2. Add the Noilly Prat and let it evaporate, then cover the rice with 500ml of the simmering stock. Heat slowly, stirring to encourage the starch to come out from the rice.
  3. Keep adding hot stock and stirring continuously. After about 15-20 mins, start checking the rice; the aim is to get it ‘nearly cooked’ at this stage. Check by squeezing a grain or two of rice between your fingers – in the centre there should be two small starchy white dots. If they are there, the rice is cooked enough. If not add more stock and keep stirring, checking regularly. It may take 35 mins to get to this ‘nearly cooked’ stage.
  4. Once you’ve reached this stage, add the courgette, beans, chopped herbs and lemon juice. Cook for a further 3 mins, stirring and adding any remaining stock if necessary.
  5. Remove from the heat, leave for 2 mins then return to the heat, stirring rapidly for a couple of minutes. Take off the heat, add the mascarpone and the basil, then stir in the parmesan. The rice should be al dente in texture.
  6. Serve immediately.

This recipe features in the Comfort Cook Book digital download published 2020 and is originally featured in the Porthminster Beach Café – The Cookbook published in 2013.


Photography by Ali Green Photography (@workbyali )
Co-Editors Cornwall Content @cornwallcontent & Maverick

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