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.