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Leek Risotto with Squash and Thyme

March 2007
Leek Risotto with Squash and Thyme

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Leeks are the gentle giants of the onion family. They look forbidding but are easy to handle, and their sweet, mild flavor works wonders in savory dishes like this risotto.

Makes: 4 servings

Prep: 20 mins

Cook: 35 mins

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 leeks, white parts only, quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise 1/2 inch thick
  • Salt
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 small butternut squash (about 1-1/4 pounds)peeled, halved, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 32 ounce container  (4 cups) chicken broth, warm
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Black pepper
Directions
  1. In a skillet or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the leeks, sprinkle with salt and cook, stirring constantly, until soft but not browned, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the rice to the pan and stir to coat. Add the wine and cook, stirring constantly, until absorbed. Stir in the squash and thyme. Add 1 cup broth and cook, stirring constantly, until completely absorbed. Continue adding the broth 1 cup at a time, cooking and stirring until the rice is al dente but cooked through, about 25 minutes (the risotto should be slightly soupy but not runny).
  3. Stir in the cheese and cayenne and season with black pepper.
Tip
  • Cut off the root end and the tough green top.
  • Halve the white part lengthwise
  • Soak the stalks in cold water for 10 minutes, then rinse to remove the grit.