- 50g dried figs
- 150g Perl Las blue cheese
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 celery stick
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 1 lemon
- A handful of thyme
- 1 garlic clove
- 100g watercress
- 200g risotto rice
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- 800ml boiling water
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
Heat your oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Peel and finely chop the onion. Trim and finely chop the carrot and celery. Peel and crush the garlic clove.
Heat a large pan over a medium heat for 2 mins. Add ½ tbsp oil and all the prepared veg. Cook on a low heat for 5 mins, stirring, till just softened.
Tip in the risotto rice. Cook and stir for 3 mins. Slice the figs and add those with the thyme springs. Crumble in the stock cube and pour in 800ml boiling water.
Pop on a lid. If your pan isn’t ovenproof, pour the risotto into an ovenproof dish and cover with a lid or foil. Slide into the oven and cook for 40 mins till the stock is absorbed and the rice is al dente (soft with a slight bite).
While the risotto is cooking, finely chop the watercress, saving a handful to garnish. Zest and juice the lemon. Crumble the Perl Las cheese.
When the risotto is cooked, remove from the oven. Stir through most of the Perl Las and all the chopped watercress. Add the lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice. Taste and season. Add more lemon juice if you think it's necessary.
Serve the risotto in warm bowls with a tangle of the remaining watercress and a crumble of the remaining blue cheese.
Perl Las is made by Caws Cenarth, a small family business in the heart of West Wales. The cheese is entirely made by hand. Some of the cast iron presses used to make it are more than 100 years old.