Wild Leek Risotto with Seared Cherry Tomatoes

Début de l'été 2007
food and drink

BY: Marilyn Bentz-Crowley and Ludwig Ratzinger

The natural pleasingly pervasive flavours of wild leeks are complemented by creamy rice and classic Parmesan. Serve with a piece of grilled fish or chicken, or it can stand alone as a light main course.

1 cup (250 mL) lightly packed wild leek leaves
½ cup (125 mL) cultured buttermilk
4 cups (1 L) chicken or broth
¼ cup (50 mL) lightly packed flat or curly leaf parsley
vegetable stock or vegetable stock or broth
2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil
1 cup (250 mL) finely diced sweet onion, such as Vidalia
1 1/3 cups (325 mL) cup Arborio rice, about 8 oz (250 g)
½ cup (125 mL) dry white wine
Salt to taste

1 tbsp (15 mL) unsalted butter
2 cups (500 mL) cherry tomatoes or 8 to 12 tomatoes on vines
2 tbsp (25 mL) balsamic vinegar

To Finish
¼ cup (50 mL) unsalted butter
¾ cup (175 mL) grated Parmesan cheese, about 2 oz (60 g)

1. Whirl leeks with parsley and buttermilk in a blender until puréed; set aside. Heat stock in a small saucepan, or in the microwave, until hot but not boiling. Keep quite warm.

2. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When hot add chopped onion; stir 3 to 5 minutes or until transparent. Then add rice all at once; stir 2 to 3 minutes or until coated and edges are becoming transparent. Pour in wine; it bubbles and absorbs very quickly. Add a ladle of stock; stir.

3. Continue to slowly add stock, stirring almost constantly with a wooden spoon, until each ladleful is absorbed. This takes 20 to 25 minutes. The rice ultimately is creamy and tender to the bite. Taste; add salt as needed, about 1/2 tsp (2 mL) if stock was comletely unsalted.

4. Meanwhile, heat butter in a medium frying pan over medium heat. When bubbly, add tomatoes and vinegar. Sauté 3 to 5 minutes or until skins crack and vinegar becomes somewhat syrupy. Pull off heat; let sit in pan while finishing risotto.

5. To finish, stir butter, Parmesan and wild leek purée into risotto. Taste
and add salt if needed.

6. Spoon risotto into warmed wide pasta or soup bowls. Top with sautéed tomatoes and some of the vinegar glaze. Serve right away.

Serves 4 to 6