I had my brother over for dinner last weekend and I wanted to cook him something homey and comforting, but also bright and light enough for a summer evening.
I haven't made anything with leeks in a long time, but they are so delicious. My favorite restaurant in college had a special that featured buttered leeks and I fell in love with the subtle oniony flavor. Why not add it to risotto?!
Here's how you make it!
1.5 cups arborio rice
4.5 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/3 cup vermouth
1/3 parmesan reggiano
1 tbsp earth balance (or butter)
a few large handfuls of arugula
1 large lemon
Cut the green tops off the the leeks and discard. Wash them thoroughly (they can be really dirty), and chop into small pieces. See below:
Melt a heaping tablespoon of Earth Balance (or butter) in a large saucepan. Add the leeks and sauté over medium heat.
At this time, you should also heat your broth in another small pot so that it's ready when you get to that step! It only needs to be on a low heat.
Keep cooking until the leeks soften. If you usually make risotto with onions, yes, this will take longer. Don't worry, the extra few minutes are worth it. Stir to make sure they don't brown as the cook down.
Add the rice and stir to incorporate and lightly toast for a minute. Add vermouth and cook for another 2 minutes, or until the alcohol has evaporated.
Add the broth a few ladles at a time. Stir the rice occasionally as it soaks the broth. Every time the broth starts to disappear, add a few more ladles. Continue this process until the rice is al dente.
Time for more fun additions!
Add the juice of a large lemon. If you can't find a large/juicy lemon, grab an extra one. In my opinion, this bright flavor is what really brings all of the other ingredients together.
Risotto isn't risotto without some parmesan cheese.
And don't forget to eat your greens. Add arugula, one handful at a time, and mix into the hot rice to wilt it.
Dinner is ready.
Isn't the green arugula so pretty?