I’m lucky to have three kids who are relatively good eaters. I totally get that not everyone is as lucky. Risotto is one of my go-to dishes when I have vegetables in the refrigerator that have seen better days. Because risotto always produces such a rich and creamy result, it’s a great way to incorporate vegetables that, under different circumstances, kids might not eat.
The recipe that follows can be modified based on your tastes as well as ingredient availability. No leeks? Use shallots or onions. Don’t have Fresh English Peas? Frozen peas are a great substitute. No chicken stock? Use vegetable stock or water. LOVE mushrooms? Add as many as you’d like. Have a fickle relationship with the fungi? Keep them out.
Serves a Family of 5 (with the potential of leftovers for lunch)
Leek, Mushroom and English Pea Risotto
2 leeks, white and light green parts thinly sliced
2 TBSP olive oil
10 ounces baby bella mushrooms
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 cups of chicken stock (warm in a separate small pot)
2 cups English Peas, blanched (or two cups frozen peas, thawed)
Kosher salt and pepper grinds, to taste
Optional: a sprinkle of parmesan
1. Wash leek slices very well to dislodge sand and dirt.
2. In a heavy bottom pot, heat olive oil.
3. Add leeks and saute until softened, about 7 minutes.
4. Add sliced mushrooms and saute until mushrooms have browned a bit and released their juices.
5. Sprinkle some salt.
6. Add arborio rice and toast rice, stirring frequently.
7. Add wine and deglaze the bottom of the pot.
8. When wine has been absorbed, add one or two ladles of stock. Stirring continuously.
9. When the stock has been absorbed, add another ladle or two, continuously stirring.
10. Continue adding small amounts of liquid each time the previous liquid has been absorbed. It should take you about 20 minutes to complete this task.
11. Taste for doneness of rice. Each rice granule should have a slight bite to it.
12. Add English Peas and stir.
13. Add parmesan, if using.
14. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust seasoning as necessary
Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!