Oatmeal ‘risotto’, spinach & English ricotta

by Emily Lampson

The chef-proprietor of The Kingham Plough marries the bounty of the British Isles


500g spinach
2 banana shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
500g pinhead oatmeal
1 glass white wine
500ml hot vegetable or chicken stock
50g aged hard cheese such as parmesan, grated
125g cold butter
200g English ricotta
Cold pressed oil, to serve
Zest of 1 lemon


First, prepare the spinach. Bring a large pan of water to the boil with 1 tsp salt. Have a food blender set up ready, as well as a bowl set over iced water. Blanch the spinach for 1 min, drain well and place straight into the blender and blitz until it becomes a very smooth puree, then pour into the bowl set over ice.

Sweat the shallots and garlic in a large pan with the olive oil. Add the oatmeal and season, stir for about 1 min, then add the wine. Stir again until the wine has reduced and then slowly start adding the hot stock, 1 ladle at a time, stirring all the while. Once all the stock has been absorbed, add the spinach puree in the same way.

Turn off the heat, add the grated hard cheese and butter, and season well with lots of black pepper. It should have a very soft consistency, like a really thick soup. Now place the ricotta in a bowl and season with cold pressed oil, lemon zest and seasoning. Serve the risotto and spoon over the ricotta.

Recipe: Emily Watkins