Make leeks the star of the show in this risotto. Don't forget too the importance of butter and good-quality hard cheese for making a great risotto
- Serves: 6 persons
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 500g leeks, 80g cut lengthways into strips, the rest finely sliced
- 75g butter
- 2celery sticks, finely chopped
- 2carrots, finely chopped
- 300g risotto rice (carnaroli or arborio work well)
- 175ml white wine
- 1-1.5 litres hot vegetable or chicken stock
- 50g grated parmesan or vegetarian alternative, plus extra to serve
Step 1Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large, lidded frying pan or heavy-based saucepan set over a medium heat. Tip in the 80g leeks and fry for 5-8 mins until golden, to create a straw-like appearance. Remove from the pan, leaving the oil behind, and set aside. (You could skip this step and simply slice all the leeks to add in step 2, but the strips make a nice garnish to top the risotto.)
Step 2Drizzle the remaining oil into the pan over a low-medium heat and add 25g of the butter, stirring until the butter has melted. Tip in the celery, carrots and sliced leek. Stir well, then reduce the heat to low and put the lid on. Fry for 15-20 mins, stirring occasionally until the celery, carrots and leeks have softened. Add the rice and stir to coat in the buttery veg, then turn the heat up to medium and cook for 2 mins until the rice turns translucent. Pour in the white wine, stir and cook for a few minutes until the alcohol has evaporated. Season well.
Step 3Add in a ladleful of the hot stock and stir until it has been completely absorbed. Pour in another ladleful, stir again while the rice absorbs it, and repeat until all the stock has been used up and the rice is al dente – this should take about 20 mins. If you run out of stock, you can either make up a little more or use boiling water from the kettle. Remove from the heat and mix in the cheese and remaining butter. Ladle into bowls or onto plates, grate over some extra parmesan, and scatter over the fried leek strips. Serve straightaway.