Mushroom Leek Risotto
Oh boy. My girls are officially on summer vacation and I’m happy they’re around. Not so happy about all the “I’m bored!” statements that are happening already. Lucky for them, I have all sorts of fun tasks to solve their boredom (insert maniacal laugh here). I’m betting they won’t tell me they’re bored after weeding all of the mulch in the backyard and helping pick up sticks that have littered the yard after the last wind storm. See, I’m a problem solver. My next problem that needed solving was that I’d NEVER made a risotto. I’ve been leery to try making it because I kept hearing that it’s “so hard to get right”. So, this wonderful mushroom leek risotto happened last night and I can tell you it is NOT hard. I’m happy to report that it’s WAY easier than I thought to make and just as deliciously creamy as I had imagined. Nailed it!
To get the perfect mushroom leek risotto you will need a large wide bottom sauce pan. I used a 12-inch skillet, which worked awesome. You will need to keep a separate saucepan with warm broth ready to add a ladle full at a time to the larger skillet after all of the main ingredients are added. Making risotto is really not difficult and it comes together in less than thirty minutes with no need to attend to it the whole time. The trick to knowing when to add more broth is simple: drag your stirring spoon through the rice mixture and if the space left by your spoon does not immediately fill with liquid, it’s time to add more broth. Simple as that. After you’ve added all of the broth, add the rest of the ingredients and continue cooking until the rice grains are suspended in the creamy brothiness but not sticking together. It shouldn’t look as fluid as soup yet not as thick as cookie dough either. More like a loose oatmeal consistency is what you’re going for. Keep in mind the rice will continue to absorb liquid as it cools so pull it off the heat just as it starts to get to the right consistency. If you let it cook a little too long and it’s too thick, easy to fix – just add a bit more broth!
- 3½ cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 5-8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced or diced
- 1 leek, white part only, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- ¼ cup white wine
- ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- ¼ cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tablespoons shredded parmesan (optional)
- fresh chopped basil, for garnish
- In a saucepan, heat broth and keep at a simmer.
- In a separate wide bottom saucepan or skillet, add olive oil, mushrooms, leek and garlic and sauté about 5 minutes until mushrooms have given up most of their moisture and leek is beginning to soften.
- Add rice and stir until it's coated with the oil.
- Pour in white wine and let that absorb into the rice. Be careful not to let the pan go dry.
- Add a couple ladles of hot broth to the rice and stir occasionally. To check if it's time to add more broth, drag your stirring spoon through the rice. If the space left by the spoon does not immediately fill in with liquid, add another ladle of broth. Continue this until all the broth is added.
- After all of the broth is added, stir in the salt and sundried tomatoes.
- Cook mixture until it resembles a loose oatmeal. Rice should still be al dente but look creamy.
- Remove from heat and add parmesan if using. The risotto will continue to absorb liquid as it cools to get to the perfect creamy consistency.
- Top with chopped basil and serve immediately.