Maize Rice Risotto Verde

Italy meets South Africa in this delicious fusion twist on risotto, using maize meal instead of arborio rice.


Serves 4

Preparation Time

Cook time

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  • 2 Tbsps. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsps. butter, about 30g
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 1 stick celery, very finely diced
  • 400g cooked maize rice (undercooked by 10 minutes)
  • 125ml white wine
  • 500ml chicken stock, hot
  • 100g spinach, blanched in chicken stock
  • 150g peas, frozen
  • 2 Tbsps. white sugar
  • 50g Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 3 Tbsps. Crème fraîche
  • 1 Lemon, zested and juiced
  • Micro cress to serve


Heat oil and butter in a Le Creuset Signature Round Casserole and add onion and celery with a little salt. Fry for 5 minutes until translucent.

Add the maize rice risotto rice and stir well, ensuring every grain is coated in oil. Fry to toast and cook the maize rice for another 3 minutes. Pour in the wine and let it bubble until it’s almost all evaporated. Add the stock a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly, adding more stock only once the last ladleful has been absorbed.

Blanch peas in sugar water and set aside.

Blanch spinach in stock water and transfer into a food processor, add and 2 tbsps of hot stock water and whizz to a purée. Once the rice is almost cooked, stir through the purée, broad beans (if available) and/or peas only.

Cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Once the rice and vegetables are cooked, stir through the parmesan, crème fraîche, lemon zest and juice.

Season to taste.

Recipe and image courtesy of Chef Nti.