Monday, September 15, 2008

Leek, Mushroom and Lemon Risotto

Leeks and lemon go together beautifully in this light Italian risotto, while mushrooms add texture and extra flavor. Recipe serves 4.


8 ounces (250 g) trimmed leeks
2-3 cups brown cap mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
6 tablespoons water
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 3/4 cups risotto rice
5 cups simmering vegetable stock
Grated rind of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons mixed chopped fresh chives and flat leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper


1. Slice the leeks in half lengthwise, wash them well and slice them evenly. Wipe the mushrooms with kitchen paper and chop them roughly.
2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the garlic for a minute. Add the leeks, mushrooms and plenty of seasoning and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes, or until the leeks have softened and browned. Spoon into a bowl and set aside.
3. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter to the pan. As soon as it has melted, add the onion and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes until it has softened and is golden.
4. Stir in the rice and cook for about 1 minute until the grains begin to look translucent and are covered in the fat. Add a large spoonful of stock and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has been absorbed.
5. Continue to add stock, a spoonful at a time, until all of it has been absorbed, and stirring constantly. This should take about 25-30 minutes. The risotto will turn thick and creamy and the rice should be tender but not sticky.
6. Just before serving, add the leeks and mushrooms, with the remaining butter. Stir in the grated lemon rind and juice. Add the grated Parmesan cheese and the herbs. Adjust the seasoning and serve immediately.

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