With fall’s cold weather seemingly here to stay, I still find myself craving some of the light-tasting, citrusy flavours of summer. This dish is perfect for a transition to the cooler months. It is simple, yet bursting with flavour, and rich and creamy without being too heavy.
3 leeks, trimmed and chopped
10-12 cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 tbps extra virgin olive oil
2 large cloves of garlic, crushed and roughly chopped
6 tbsp butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 3/4 cups arborio rice
1 generous glass of white wine*
4 1/2 cups hot vegetable broth
juice of 1/2 a lemon
zest of a whole lemon
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mixed chopped chives and flat-leaf parsley
salt and pepper
garnish with lemon wedges and parsley, if desired
Start by cleaning your leeks. The best way to get all the dirt and grit out is to cut off the tops and bottoms of the leeks, then make a lengthwise slice, as pictured above. You will be able to spread the layers apart, and really open up the leeks to get them nice and clean. Next, chop them up.
Equally as important to clean are the mushrooms. Mushrooms act as sponges, so it is a good idea to peel them before rinsing them off with water. Otherwise, all the dirt from the outside will just get sucked to the inside, and despite your best effort to clean them, you will end up with an equally as dirty mushroom. Peel the skin off the mushrooms, as pictured above, then rinse with water, and slice.
Next, add oil to a large pan, and cook the garlic. Garlic will burn quickly, so make sure the heat is not set too high. After about 1 minute, add the leeks and mushrooms, and coat them with the oil and garlic.
After about 10 minutes on medium heat, the leeks will become soft and start to brown slightly. Remove from heat and set aside.
Using the same pan, add about 1/2 the butter, and let melt.
Add the chopped onion and salt to the buttered pan, and cook until onion becomes translucent, very soft, and slightly browned (about 15 minutes on medium heat).
Add the rice to the onion, and give it a good stir so that it is well-coated in butter. Then, add that generous glass of white wine, and make sure you have a glass yourself. Continue to stir until the liquid has been absorbed.
*The wine that I used for this recipe was Cono Sur Viognier 2012 from Chile. It worked well in this recipe because it is quite aromatic and not too sweet; it complemented the creaminess and zest of the dish very nicely.
Stir in about 3/4 cup of veg stock at a time, until it has been absorbed. Stir constantly so that it doesn’t burn. I like to use a heat-safe rubber scraper so that I can make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan. Keep adding stock and keep stirring constantly until finally all liquid has been absorbed and rice is cooked through. It should be a creamy consistency, without being gluey or mushy. Remove from heat.
Add the rest of the butter and the Parmesan cheese to the rice, and stir until melted. Next, mix in the pepper, lemon juice, zest, leek mixture, and fresh herbs. Stir until combined.
Garnish with parsely, lemon wedge (and/or zest) and Parmesan.
Though I have made a few minor tweaks, the original recipe can be found at So Good and Tasty.