Sunday, March 1, 2009

Leek and Pea Risotto

Jon is always asking me to make risotto. His favorite is my basic Parmesan-Garlic Risotto. I, however, like playing around with different ingredients and flavors. Check out the risotto tag in this blog to see all of the variations I have made.

Last night I came across this recipe for Leek and Pea Risotto on the Epicurious web site. I served it with Jon's grilled, marinated pork chops.

The recipe on the Epicurious site also includes ingredients and directions for the calamari. I didn't make the calamari so the ingredients and directions below are for the risotto portion of that meal only.


  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced and washed
  • 1 1/4 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (I didn't use this)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


  • Bring stock to a bare simmer in a medium saucepan, then keep at a bare simmer.
  • Cook leeks in 2 tablespoons oil in a 4-quart heavy pot (I used the large saucepan I always use for risotto) over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  • Add remaining tablespoon oil and rice to pot and cook, stirring constantly, until rice is coated evenly, about 1 minute.
  • Add wine and briskly simmer, stirring, until most has been absorbed, about 1 minute.
  • Add 1 cup hot stock and briskly simmer, stirring constantly, until stock has been absorbed. Continue simmering and adding hot stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding the next, until 1 cup stock is left, 15 to 18 minutes.
  • Add peas, leeks, and remaining cup stock and cook, stirring, until rice is just tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Stir in butter (didn't use this) and cheese, then remove from heat.

Leeks and peas - not something I would have put together on my own but it worked. This was delicious!

I love how risotto is so versatile, but it's also all based on the same basic recipe. However, each recipe can taste so different based on what you add to it - meat, seafood, different veggies, red vs white wine, cheeses, etc.

Risotto is also extremely easy to make. I always hear people saying they are scared to try it - don't be!!! I promise that if you follow the instructions, keep your broth warm, keep stirring, and taste the rice often near the end, you will end up with a perfect risotto.

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