This leek risotto is so GOOD. Made with simple ingredients and a little patience, it’s packed with flavor — it’s lemony and creamy, with the subtle flavor of leek in every bite. This risotto is also topped with fried Jerusalem artichokes which add a nutty, potato like flavor with a hint of artichoke, which perfectly compliments this lemony leek risotto.
Risotto is easy to make comfort food
Risotto is my favorite one-dish meal when I am looking for comfort food. I think you’ll even be surprised at how easy it actually is to make this leek risotto recipe. This dish cooks slowly allowing the starches in the rice to be released into a creamy texture with an al dente bite to it…the thing that makes risotto so delicious. This version only requires sautéing the leeks and garlic before adding the rice and broth. The rest is just some stirring — not constantly — but enough to release the starches. Which is easy to do if you are having a chat in the kitchen, listening to your favorite podcast, or simply playing some chilled out music while sipping away at a glass of wine. The toppiing is totally optional. To keep things really simple, just garnish with a little parsley and some grated parmesan cheese.
Cooking tips for a perfect leek risotto
- When preparing the leeks, remove the dark green leaves and use the tender white and light green parts. You’ll also want to make sure you wash the leeks thoroughly, to ensure there isn’t any grit in between the layers.
- Arborio, a starchy short grain Italian rice, and is typically used for making risotto. Carnaroli is also an excellent choice.
- Keep the broth lightly simmering on the stove as you add it to the risotto. You never want to add cold broth to your risotto!
- For the risotto to achieve the sought-after creaminess, the starch from the rice needs to be released slowly. Add a ladle full of hot broth at a time, repeating as it gets absorbed, stirring every 30 seconds or so. Risotto is ready when the rice is al dente (about 20 minutes).
Jerusalem artichokes as risotto topping
Jerusalem artichokes, also called sunchokes, have a nutty sweet taste that resembles a potato with a hint of artichoke. And they are delicious! Thinly sliced and sautéed in a skillet until tender and crisp on the edges, they are a terrific topping for this leek risotto. If you haven’t cooked with sunchokes yet, they are also perfect for roasted in the oven. Or try mashing them up after they are cooked and adding them to a risotto or use them to make a creamy soup. Though they aren’t always easy to find so head over to your local farmers markets to pick some up, or try a supermarket that is well stocked with local, seasonal vegetables.
Looking for more delicious risotto recipes?
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium leek (white and light green part), finely chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- a couple sprigs of fresh thyme
- 300 g risotto rice (1 1/2 cups)
- 200 ml dry white wine
- 1-1.2 litre vegetable or chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan, freshly grated (or more)
- freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 lemon, or to taste
- Sea salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Small handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped (optional)
For the topping (optional)
- 200 g Jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed clean (Topinambur)
- 1 tablespoon butter (or more)
Heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet (I use a non-stick wok pan) over medium heat, and add the leek. Cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until soft.
Add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes. Then add the rice and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring.
Add the wine and stir until it is absorbed. Then add the fresh thyme and gradually add the broth, a ladle at a time, stirring frequently, until it has mostly been absorbed. Continue cooking the risotto, adding a ladle full of broth at a time and stirring between additions, until the broth is absorbed. The risotto is done when the rice is just tender (al dente), about 20 minutes or so. Note: if needed adjust heat to medium high, to keep at a light simmer.
While the risotto is cooking, finely slice the Jerusalem artichokes. Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the sliced Jerusalem artichokes and fry for 8-10 minutes, turning halfway through until they are cooked through and crisped at the edges. Transfer to a clean plate.
Once risotto is al dente, stir in the cream cheese and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Top with the fried jerusalem artichokes. Garnish with parsley and more parmesan, if desired.
- I use half a lemon for this recipe, which gives the risotto a deliciously lemony flavor. Feel free to start with 1 tablespoon and add more to taste, if desired.
- I used a mandoline to thinly slice the sunchokes. I highly recommend using a hard guard or glove to protect your fingers.
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