I had a leek from our CSA withering away in my crisper last week and had NO idea what to do with it. So, when I found this recipe on Lime in the Coconut, I knew it would be perfect. Plus, I could use the basil also wilting away in the crisper.
I can’t say enough good things about this recipe. I added some ham I had in the freezer and it was SO delicious. I skipped the wine (yeah, I know, it makes it SO much better), but I added more chicken broth. I really loved the flavor of the peas with the basil. I’ll have to try that combination in more things. I even really liked it the next day, even though risotto loses some of its creaminess once it’s refrigerated & reheated.
Pea and Leek Risotto with Basil
The Wine Lover Cooks With Wine, by Sid Goldstein via Lime in the Coconut
1 cup salted water
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 pounds green peas, shelled (I used a package of frozen peas)
5 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons butter
1 leek, including light green parts, rinsed well and finely diced
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1 tablespoons minced shallot
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
3/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons goat cheese (I substituted shavings of Parmesan cheese)
In a small saucepan bring the salted water to a boil. Add the basil and cook for 1 minute. Turn off heat and stir in 1 cup of peas. Let stand for about 5 minutes. Drain and transfer to a food processor. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
In a small saucepan, bring the stock to a low simmer. In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter and or olive oil over medium high heat. Add the leek and onion and saute until the leek begins to soften, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the shallot and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the rice and stir until it is opaque. Add the wine and summer, stirring until completely absorbed. Add 2 cups of the hot stock and simmer until absorbed by the rice, stirring often. Continue to add the stock in 1/2 cup increments, stirring constantly, until each addition is absorbed. When all the stock has been added, the rice should be almost al dente.
Stir in the puree and the remaining peas. Cook and stir until the peas are just cooked through and the rice is al dente, 2 to 3 minutes.
To serve, divide the risotto among warmed pasta or soup bowls. Garnish with parmesan shavings and serve.