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Seasonal and affordable

This simple and filling risotto recipe combines a classic British soup combination with the heartiest of Italian food to make the ultimate, seasonal comfort food. To make this recipe as waste-free as possible, we used the starchy boiled potato water to make the stock. The starch from the rice itself, and the potato water, gives this dish a creamy finish without having to add butter, cream, or cheese (except some parmesan towards the end).  Feel free to adapt this recipe to your own taste by adding alternative alliums like spring onions, shallots, or other seasonal root vegetables to complement the leek and potato flavours. To make this dish vegan, swap the parmesan for a vegan alternative or go without.

Leek & Potato Risotto

Ingredients (serves 6)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin preferable)
  • 300g arborio rice (or carnaroli)
  • 1 large white onion, finely diced
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 2 large leeks, finely sliced
  • 750 ml vegetable stock (750ml boiling water + 2 stock cubes)
  • 400g charlotte potatoes (or any waxy potato variety), diced into small cubes and par-boiled
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 150g grated parmesan (half for cooking, half for garnish)
  • 3 handfuls fresh parsley, roughly chopped (1 for the cooking process, and 1 for garnish)
    1. In a large frying pan, ideally deep-set, gently heat your olive oil and the finely diced onion. Let the onion simmer gently in the oil and become translucent before adding the arborio rice.
    2. Once the rice is added, stir into the oil and onion mix until lightly toasted before adding your sliced leeks and garlic.
    3. Allow the alliums, rice and oil to simmer together until the smell is fragrant, the rice is toasted and the leek and onion have become soft and translucent.
    4. Meanwhile, par-boil your potato cubes at an intense boil for about 8 minutes until cooked but with structural integrity intact.
    5. Drain the potatoes and use your potato water to make the vegetable stock.
    6. Gradually add your stock by the ladleful and continue to stir the rice mixture, ensuring it’s not sticking to the pan. As the rice absorbs the liquid, continue to add stock and stir.
    7. After about 20 minutes or so, as the rice becomes more tender, add your potatoes, chopped parsley, parmesan, salt and pepper and stir.
    8. Taste the rice for seasoning and add any last minute garnishes before serving your starchy, silky, seasonal risotto.
    9. Serve with extra parmesan, a flourish or parsley and cracked black pepper.

    Recipe by Cristina Proietti @cupboard.creations


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