Creamy Cheddar Risotto with Leeks
This comforting one-pot vegetarian meal is rich and flavourful. Leftovers would make great arancini as well.
- 6 leeks (white and light green parts only)
- 6 cups (1.5 L) vegetable broth (approx.)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) unsalted butter, divided
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped fresh thyme
- 3/4 tsp (4 mL) salt, divided
- 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) Arborio rice
- Pinch pepper
- 1 cup (250 mL) dry white wine
- 1 1/2 cups (150 g) shredded Balderson Extra Old Cheddar
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) each finely chopped fresh parsley and chives
- Chop leeks and set aside. Pour broth into saucepan; stir in bay leaves. Cover and bring to simmer. Remove lid and reduce heat to low to maintain heat.
- Heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter and olive oil in large high-sided skillet set over medium heat; cook leeks, garlic, thyme and pinch of salt for 3 to 5 minutes or until leeks are slightly softened. Stir in rice, remaining salt, and pepper; cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until well coated. Pour in wine; cook, stirring constantly, until most of the liquid is absorbed.
- Add enough of the broth, 1 cup (250 mL) at a time, stirring after each addition until all liquid is absorbed and rice is creamy and tender, 20 to 25 minutes (if risotto is dry, stir in enough of the remaining broth for desired consistency).
- Stir in remaining butter, 1 cup (250 mL) cheese and parsley. Divide risotto among 4 bowls. Top with remaining cheese and chives.
- Add 1/3 cup (75 mL) diced pancetta along with the leeks if desired.
- For a more substantial dish, add sautéed mushrooms.