No matter how many new and exotic recipes I try, one of my all time favorite meals is still a creamy, comforting bowl of risotto. People are often intimidated by the name, but risotto really isn’t difficult to prepare. Plus, once you master the technique, the possibilities for variations and add-ins are limitless. For this risotto recipe, I added leeks and portobello mushrooms for an absolutely delightful dish. My version of risotto is also much healthier than most since it uses no cream or butter. Instead, I use my secret weapon of pumpkin puree to make the rice decadently creamy-it might sound a little strange but trust me, no one will even notice.
Portobello Leek Risotto
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2 and 2/3 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 ounces (about 1 cup once sliced) leeks, well cleaned and thinly sliced (If you’re not sure how to clean leeks, check out this link )
2 portobello mushroom caps, stems removed and diced
1-2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
Zest and Juice from 1 small lemon
1-2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1-2 tablespoons scallions, chopped
Salt & Pepper
1. Add broth to a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, and let broth simmer while you prepare the risotto.
2. Add olive oil to a medium saucepan and heat to medium low. Stir in leeks and sauté for 5 minutes, or until slightly softened.
3. Push leeks to one side, then add mushrooms to opposite side of saucepan. Let mushrooms cook, undisturbed, for 4-5 minutes, or until browned on the bottom. Stir mushrooms, then saute for about 5 minute more, or until golden brown on all sides. Season vegetables with thyme, salt. and pepper.
4. Move mushrooms beside leeks, then add garlic to saucepan. Saute for 30 seconds, then combine all vegetables and saute for about 1 minute more.
5. Add rice to pan. Sauté rice with vegetables for about 1 minute.
6. Use a ladle to add about a 1/2 cup of broth to the rice, then stir frequently, until most of the liquid is evaporated, 2-3 minutes.
7. Continue to add broth 1/2 cup at a time until liquid is almost evaporated after each addition. Stir the rice often during cooking, but you don’t have to stir it constantly. Keep adding broth until rice is creamy but still al dente (17-18 minutes). All of the broth (or at least the majority of it) should be used.
8. Once the rice is cooked, stir in the pumpkin and cook for 2-3 minutes more, or until combined and heated through. Season risotto with salt and pepper.
9. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley and scallions.
10. Scoop risotto into two serving dishes & enjoy!
Nutrition Information--approximately 245 calories per serving (1/2 of the
A Few More Risotto Recipes…
Spinach & Mushroom Risotto Cakes
Butternut Squash Risotto
Pea & Mint Risotto
Saffron & Squash Risotto