- 3 tablespoons light olive oil
- 1 tablespoon plant-based butter
- 2 medium leeks, finely chopped
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 250g risotto rice
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or parsley
- 150ml dry white wine (optional)
- 1 litre heated vegetable stock, plus more stock or boiled water if needed
- 200g frozen or freshened peas, or chopped green beans
- sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 4 tablespoons plant-based grated parmesan, plus more for serving
This silky, creamy risotto looks so good with the subtle green of the leeks and peas, and it has wonderfully smooth flavours. You can play around with the vegetables you use, for instance substituting 6 shallots for the leeks.
Melt the oil and butter together in a large heavy- bottomed saucepan on a medium heat. Stir in the chopped leeks, onion and celery and then slow-cook gently for about 15 minutes, to allow the leeks and onions to sweat and go translucent, rather than brown. Add the rice and garlic and mix well, coating the rice in the oil, and let it cook, stirring often for a couple of minutes, to allow the rice to heat through, not brown. Now stir in the herbs and the white wine (if using).
Add a couple of ladlefuls of the heated stock (about 200ml), enough to cover the rice. Mix well, and allow to simmer gently, stirring frequently, until the stock is nearly absorbed, but do not let the rice cook too quickly. Gradually add more stock and keep stirring, until all of it has been absorbed; do not allow the risotto to dry out, you want a thick soupy consistency. Stir in the peas halfway through cooking the rice, after about 7 minutes. After about 15 minutes the rice should be cooked through but still al dente. If you run out of stock and the rice is not cooked yet, then use some extra stock or boiled water to finish off — but be careful not to let it overcook and become soggy or stodgy.
Season with black pepper — if you’re using powdered or cubed vegetable stock it may not need any extra salt. Once it’s cooked, remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan. Mix well and allow it to sit for 1 or 2 minutes. Then serve immediately, with extra Parmesan and black pepper to taste.