CCC – December: Leek risotto with chestnuts

Leek risotto with chestnuts. It just sounds lovely. And, ok, like all risottos, it sounds a bit time-consuming too. My plan this month was to make a couple of much-simpler recipes, and aspire to this one. Well, my month got busy – two trips to Mexico City, another to Seattle… well, and all of those other holiday things. So, it was the leek risotto after all!

This was a fun, easy recipe to make. Sliced leeks get sauteed in butter, and after about 20 minutes of a slow simmer turn wonderfully soft and silky.


While all of that is happening, the stock is prepared. I usually use Penzey’s, and their vegetable stock is a real favorite. I don’t have the space to keep home made stock on hand, so this makes for a good substitute. Of course, arborio is the rice of choice.

The rice is added to the leeks, coated with butter, and then a bit of wine is added. Once that’s evaporated, then the process of slowly adding a bit of stock at a time with a good stir commences. Once all of the stock is incorporated, a bit of butter is dabbed on the top and it gets to wait for a few minutes while the chestnuts are readied. They are crumbled and heated in a bit of butter.


Finally, the dish is assembled by topping the risotto with the chestnuts and some fresh thyme leaves.


This was a delicious dish. It was important to have the thyme as well, as it really added another note to the dish. Like most risottos, it was warming and filling. I will look forward to trying the Arancini with the leftovers!

There were so many other wonderful recipes for the cooks participating in the Cottage Cooking Club, that I hope you will check out their results here. And of course, the book is terrific, so you could even pick up a copy of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Veg yourself.

9 thoughts on “CCC – December: Leek risotto with chestnuts

  1. Dear Candy, how nice that you didi find the time to make the Leek Risotto with Chestnuts this month – I know that this was a very busy time of year for everyone, so I certainly appreciate all of the posts form all of you! Your risotto looks delightful with all those chestnuts as a topping – we loved, loved that dish as well and I enjoyed adding a bit of Parmigiano Reggiano as the final touch. If you do get a chance to make the Arancini, please do let me know and /or do post a picture on facebook – I would love to know how they turned out (unfortunately or fortunately, I have no left-overs)…
    Thank you for being part of the Cottage Cooking Club – I truly appreciate your support and look forward to the next year with this lovely online group!
    Wishing you and your family a very Happy and Healthy start to the New Year!
    Andrea & Co.

  2. Hi Candy, oh your leek risotto topped with chestnuts looks wonderful, I am making this dish for my family this week-end. Love how your dish looked. Happy New Year!!

  3. I don’t make risotto, Candy, because it is, well, time-consuming. But, I have a box of it in my pantry and, now that the holidays are over, I will have the time (and, inclination) to do it. You have inspired me. My backdoor neighbors, when we lived in Henderson, Nevada, were Sicilian and they made Arancini for special occasions. They would be sooooo proud of me if I could learn to make it myself. Very nice Post and I am surprised, with your traveling and the holidays, that you were able to make anything at all. Try the Spanikopita. It’s delicious and easy. Happy New Year. Love cooking with you at FFWD and CCC.

    1. Mary, the happiest of New Years to you!!!

      I still haven’t gotten to the arancini. We’ll see. It was probably another aspiration. BTW, love Henderson. Just built stuff (of course) but I’m glad my post brought back a happy memory.

      Best wishes!!!

  4. I’m amazed at how much you got done in December with all your traveling. I enjoyed the flavor of the risotto, though I’d say I just liked not loved it, I think because my broth wasn’t salty enough. I’m intrigued by the arancini. I’ve never made those. Hope you have a happy new year, Candy!

  5. Your dish looks delicious! I enjoyed it too and agree that the thyme made a difference. Some family thought it a little sweet – for them, there was Parmesan!
    Happy New Year!

  6. Oh, Mexico City! I haven’t been there in over a decade. Such a nice time of year to be there, too. I intended to make this one, but just never found the time. Your description makes me wish I had. If you made the arancini, I hope you post about it. (And I’ll send you that square recipe from last year, soon.)

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