Mushroom, Leek and Lemon Risotto
I made my first risotto! This feels like a huge accomplishment, because (according to my mom, and apparently Gordon Ramsay — who I don’t care for…) any good cook should be able to master risotto. And I did! And it was delicious. I did have a little help with this dish — Marc was an amazing sous chef, and I felt extremely warmed up to cook after a couple rounds of the new Iron Chef America Wii game that my sister bought for Marc. Also, I wore my brand new apron, which my Aunty Donna made me for Christmas. It’s super cute and retro — and she styled it after my great-grandmother’s favorite type of apron. It’s nice because it doesn’t hang on your neck. You like it? I do.
Anyway, back to the risotto — I found the recipe on one of the blogs I follow, Ezra Pound Cake. It seemed like a great project for a Sunday night, and its fresh, bright flavors were a welcome change to the usual “winter foods”.
Marc and I changed the recipe up a bit, using beef stock instead of vegetable stock. We also reconstituted porcini mushrooms in boiling water, and combined the water with the beef stock. This helped to make a really complex flavor to the risotto, and the porcini mushrooms (in conjunction with the crimini mushrooms we also used) added a little variety. If you’re a mushroom lover, it’s worth the extra effort to make. If you’re a vegetarian, you can do the same sort of thing, but use vegetable broth, instead of beef broth. We also reduced the butter from the original recipe — the risotto was definitely rich enough on its own — and we didn’t miss the extra butter. This recipe makes a LOT of risotto, too — enough for us each to eat leftovers tomorrow. Mmm, I absolutely cannot wait!
Mushroom, Leek and Lemon Risotto
Adapted from recipe found on Ezra Pound Cake
- 5 c. of the stock of your choice
- 8 oz. trimmed leeks
- 8 oz. mushrooms of your choice
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/2 tbsp. butter, divided
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 12 oz. Arborio (risotto) rice
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 3 tbsp. lemon juice
- 2/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 tbsp. chopped fresh chives and parsley
- Salt and pepper
- Pour the stock into a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer.
- Meanwhile, wash the leeks (I used these instructions). Slice them in half lengthwise, and chop them roughly. Chop the mushrooms and/or prepare any reconstituted mushrooms that you may be using. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute. Add leeks, mushrooms, salt and pepper; cook for about 10 minutes, or until softened and browned. Transfer the vegetables to a plate or bowl.
- Return the saucepan to medium heat, and add half of the butter. As soon as it melts, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, until soft and golden.
- Stir in the rice, and cook for 1 minute, until the grains begin to look translucent and are covered in butter. Add a ladle-full of stock to the pan, and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has been absorbed.
- Continue to add stock, one ladle at a time, until it has all been absorbed. This took me close to 45 minutes, if not a bit more. The risotto will turn thick and creamy, and the rice should be tender but not sticky.
- Just before serving, stir in the leeks, mushrooms, lemon juice and zest. Remove from heat, and stir in herbs, the rest of the butter and the Parmesan. Adjust the seasonings and serve. Garnish with lemon wedges and parsley, if you so choose.
ENJOY the taste of my very first risotto! 🙂