It finally started to feel more autumnal around here this past week. I took advantage of the colder weather to make some food that is a little more decadent and a little more comforting. I’m not really a big fan of pasta or rice, but for some reason a bowl of creamy risotto sounded like the perfect answer. I was almost ready to call it quits a dig in after sautéing the leeks, mushrooms and garlic. The smell was amazing.
This is only the second time I’ve made risotto. It can be kind of time consuming and might seem a little daunting at first, but really it’s more the time factor than the difficulty factor that you should be concerned about. All it requires is a little bit of patience but trust me if I can muster the patience to make it, you most definitely can.
Mushroom & Leek Risotto (adapted from Ezra Pound Cake)
- 5 cups vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6-8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 medium leeks, washed, trimmed and chopped
- 1-8oz container of mushrooms, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 3/4 cups/12 ounces arborio rice
- 2/3 cup/2 ounces parmesan, freshly grated
- flat leaf parsley, chopped
- Pour the vegetable stock into a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring it to a simmer.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute. Add leeks, mushrooms, salt and pepper; cook for about 10 minutes, or until softened and browned. Transfer the vegetables to a plate or bowl.
- Return the saucepan to medium heat, and add 2 tablespoons/1 ounce of butter. As soon as it melts, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, until soft and golden.
- Stir in the rice, and cook for about 1 minute, until the grains begin to look translucent and are covered in butter. Add a ladleful of stock to the pan, and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has been absorbed.
- Continue to add stock, a ladleful at a time, until all the stock has been absorbed. This should take about 25-30 minutes. The risotto will turn thick and creamy, and the rice should be tender but not sticky.
- Just before serving, stir in the leeks, mushrooms, and remaining butter. Add half the grated Parmesan and herbs. Adjust the seasoning and serve, sprinkled with the remaining Parmesan and herbs. Garnish with parsley.