I love everything about risotto...its unctuousness, versatility, simplicity and plumpness. Best of all, though, I love making it...risotto is one of those dishes that shouldn't be rushed so I always find it a really therapeutic meal to make. This risotto, which we had last night, is one of the brilliant Nigel Slater's, and is one of our staple suppers. I tend to make it when the children have had a separate supper as neither of them are huge fans (although I'm working on this!), and when we've got a glut of homemade chicken or turkey stock, which we have at the moment being post-Christmas!
2 medium leeks, sliced
thick slice of butter
3-4 tarragon stalks, leaves only (or a teaspoon of dried tarragon)
200g arborio rice
175ml dry white wine (I use vermouth)
1 litre of chicken stock
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 heaped tablespoons finely grated parmesan
1. Scatter the chopped leeks into a large, shallow pan, add the butter and tarragon and cook over a gentle heat, stirring from time to time, until the leeks soften and become translucent but not coloured, about 10-15 minutes.
2. Stir in the rice to coat the butter, then add the wine/vermouth and let it bubble until the liquid has pretty much disappeared...
Little by little add the hot stock, a couple of ladlefuls at a time at the most...
When the rice absorbs the liquid and starts to diminish in the pan, you can add another ladle or so, stirring the rice often. Continue cooking until the rice has become plump and creamy but still has a little bite left in it, about 20 minutes (so don't worry if you have some stock left over.) Season to taste, add the parmesan and knob of butter to add some gloss.
3. Plate up, sprinkle liberally with more parmesan, a twist or two of black pepper and add a trickle of extra virgin olive oil. Enjoy!
This recipe comes from Nigel Slater's Simple Suppers