Leek Risotto is an easy-to-make Italian recipe, light and nutritious. The leeks, sautéed in butter, are extremely fragrant and give the risotto a very delicate flavor.
Leek Risotto is an ancient dish that comes from Italian cucina povera. But nowadays people think of it as refined for its delicacy and lightness.
It has become a classic dish, especially of Piedmontese cuisine. In fact, Piedmont region produces the best Italian qualities of leek and rice.
You can use leek in place of onion because it has a milder flavor and is more digestible than onion. You can even eat leek raw in pinzimonio, or use it to enrich and flavor salads.
You can use cooked leeks in many ways: braised or stewed as a side dish, au gratin or also as a filling for savory pies. Leek goes very well with eggs, simply in omelette or en cocotte. But the queen of recipes with leeks is undoubtedly risotto!
The best risotto is traditionally made with Arborio or Carnaroli rice, two varieties that make the risotto creamier.
So now follow our step by step recipe for a creamy and fragrant Leek Risotto!
- Prep Time: 15 Min
- Cook Time: 20 Min
- Servings: 6
How to Make Leek Risotto: Instructions
Step 1) – First thing first make a vegetable stock: you’ll need it to cook risotto. You can make it the day before and keep it in the refrigerator. Reheat when necessary. Then clean the leeks. Remove the dark green part of the leek and the last part with the roots. Then remove even the hardest outer leaf, which you can add to the stock for more flavor.
Step 2) – Cut the leeks into rings and rinse them under fresh water to remove any earth residues.
Step 3) – In a large saucepan, pour 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and half a dose of butter. Turn on the heat and when the butter has melted, add the rings of leeks, a pinch of salt and a ladle of vegetable stock. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Step 4) – Add the rice and mix well. Then add the white wine and let the it evaporate.
Step 5) – Finally add hot vegetable stock, very little at a time stirring constantly. Let it cook for about 15 minutes. At the end turn off the heat and add Parmigiano cheese and the remaining butter. Mix well for a creamy leek risotto. If you like, add some freshly ground black pepper. Serve leek risotto immediately hot with a little more grated Parmigiano cheese to taste.
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Keep leek risotto in an airtight food container in the refrigerator, for 1-2 days maximum. Freezing is not recommended.
Leek Risotto Variations
There are several ingredients that go very well with leeks. Let’s see together what they are and what delicious recipes we can make with rice and leeks:
- Leek Risotto with Gorgonzola Cheese: If you like strong flavors and love cheese, we recommend replacing the butter with 70 g (2.5 oz) of Gorgonzola cheese at the end of cooking. The strong and decisive flavor of Gongorzola goes very well with the sweet and delicate flavor of the leek.
- Leek Risotto with Italian Sausage: If you have richer tastes, you can add a touch of flavor and color with a crumbled sausage. Add the sausage to the stewed leek, before adding the rice. Risotto with leeks and sausage is very popular in northern Italy.
- Leek Risotto with Crispy Bacon: Finally, when risotto with leeks in ready, serve it in a plate but first sprinkle it with small crispy diced bacon, previously toasted in a very hot pan.