Leek and Pea Risotto

June 8, 2011 at 7:32 pm 5 comments


Risotto is time-consuming, but well worth the effort in my opinion. It is a creamy Italian rice dish, with most of the creaminess lent by the slow cooking method and not by cream itself. Perfect for my sister! It is not hard to make, but easy to screw up if you get distracted. The trick to a good risotto is undivided attention. Stir, and stir, and stir some more. If you don’t keep stirring, it is easy to burn the bottom or lose some of that delicious moisture. This bare-bones of the risotto recipe is from a feature in the NY Times from a few months ago, and I decided to make it with leeks and peas for some fresh spring flavors. A trick for washing leeks: place them in a bowl and cover them with water. Then run your fingers through them to break apart the rings. This is a trick I picked up from Rachel Ray, which is crucial for getting the grit out from between the layers of the leek. The Parmesan cheese is delicious, but can be left out if you are vegan or lactose-intolerant. (Just make sure to add more salt and pepper!) Risotto can easily be a main dish with a side salad, or can be served alongside chicken or shrimp as a side dish. (It also keeps well for leftovers.) Give this recipe a try the next time you have a little time on your hands for dinner!


Leek and Pea Risotto

1 quart vegetable stock

4 cups water

2 bay leaves

3 leeks, cut into rings and washed well

2 cloves minced garlic

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup white wine

1 1/2 cups Arborio rice

8 oz. bag frozen peas

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

In a saucepan, bring stock, water, and bay leaves to a boil. In a separate pan, saute garlic in the olive oil. Add the leeks and saute until they start to wilt, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and white wine and cook, while stirring, until the liquid is absorbed. Add two ladles of broth and cook, while stirring, until liquid is absorbed. Repeat this step until all the liquid has been absorbed into the rice. Add the peas and stir until heated through. Stir cheese into risotto until melted and creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot!


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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide  |  June 8, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Cheese, optional? NEVER! OK, seriously great recipe. I love leeks. And I love risotto. Perfect pairing.

    • 2. jenlenew  |  June 8, 2011 at 7:49 pm

      Haha I am in agreement with you. Cheese might be my favorite thing in this world :) Making sister-friendly food is challenging, but I always sneak in my cheese on the side ;)

  • 3. Regina  |  June 8, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    we need you back at small group, soon!

  • 4. ingrina  |  June 8, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    ohhh this looks yummm =)

  • […] and McDonald’s, but is still a tough critic on new food. She loves Italian food, but hates risotto, for example. However, this pasta dish is my go-to dinner to make for her. The first time I made […]


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