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Leek and Pea Risotto


Prep time:                 40 minutes

Cooking time:              35 minutes

Yields:                                  4 people



3 Tbsp light olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
2 medium leeks,* finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 1⁄4 c risotto rice
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme or parsley, chopped
2⁄3 c dry white wine (optional)
1 qt hot low-sodium vegetable stock, plus more stock or boiled water, if needed
1 1⁄3 c frozen or fresh shelled peas, or chopped green beans
Black pepper and sea salt, to taste
1⁄4 c grated Parmesan cheese , plus more for serving



Melt oil and butter together in a large heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Stir in chopped leeks, onion, and celery and then saute gently for about 15 minutes, to allow leeks and onions to sweat and become translucent, but not brown. Add rice and garlic and mix well, coating rice in oil. Cook, stirring often, for a couple of minutes, to allow rice to heat through, but not brown. Now stir in herbs and white wine (if using).
Add a couple ladlefuls of hot stock (about 3⁄4 cup), enough to cover rice. Stir well, and simmer gently, stirring frequently, until stock is nearly absorbed, but do not let rice cook too quickly. Gradually add more stock and keep stirring, until all of it has been absorbed; do not allow risotto to dry out. You want a thick, soupy consistency. Stir in peas halfway through cooking the rice, after about 7 minutes. After about 15 minutes rice should be cooked through but still al dente. If you run out of stock and rice is not cooked yet, use some extra stock or hot water to finish it off—but be careful not to let it overcook and become soggy or sticky. Season with black pepper. Taste rice and add salt, if needed. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese. Mix well and let stand for 1 or 2 minutes. Then serve immediately, with extra Parmesan cheese and black pepper sprinkled over the top.


Notes:              * You can play around with the vegetables you use, for instance, substituting 6 shallots for the leeks.

Credit:                Vegetarian Home Cooking through Taste for Life

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