Leeks look like scallions (green onions) but a LOT bigger. Don't use the dark part- it's too tough to eat. Cut that off and use the rest. I usually cut them, separate the parts, and soak them in a bowl of water to get all the dirt out.
Risotto is awesome because it seems really complicated but it's not- it just takes some time. I cheated and used medium-grain white rice because I didn't have arborio, and I don't think anyone could tell the difference.
I've made this as is and I've also added roasted chicken and asparagus for a more complete meal. Thanks to the Gourmet Traveller for a simple yet elegant recipe!
Simple Leek Risottoeek Risotto
2 leeks, trimmed and sliced
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
a sprig of thyme, leaves only
a generous knob of butter (about 20g)
150g arborio rice
150ml dry white wine
750ml vegetable (or chicken) stock
a large handful of freshly grated parmesan
freshly ground black pepper
Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the leeks, red onions and thyme, and cook on a medium heat until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. While they are cooking heat stock in a separate pan and leave on a low simmer.
Once the leeks are tender, add the rice and stir to coat in the leek butter mixture. Pour in the wine and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the stock a ladle at a time, stirring constantly. Make sure the rice has absorbed most of the stock before adding the next ladleful.
After about 15-20 minutes of cooking the rice grains will have puffed up, but still have a bite to them. Remove the risotto from the heat (the rice should still be quite wet at this point), stir in the grated parmesan and season to taste.
Serve with a grating of parmesan on top and eat immediately!