This is a simple Greek dish - very easy to make and very easy to eat. It is not a risotto in the Italian sense of the word, so don't look for that technique here. Still, you will be pleasantly surprised with how we do it (it's easier!). I would make this using water for a meal suitable for the Lenten Fast. The stock adds richness and more depth and the parmesan is just plain delicious on it. In Greece we would eat this (without the parmesan) with a hefty slice of feta on the side, some kalamata olives, crusty bread and a glass of wine.
- 6 large leeks, cleaned and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces, washed well to remove all grit (this will be about 6-7 cups of sliced leek)
- 1 large red onion, minced
- 1⁄2 cup boiling water
- 1⁄2-3⁄4 cup olive oil (we use more olive oil in Greece than what you're probably used to)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup arborio rice (suitable for risotto) or 1 cup carnarola rice (suitable for risotto)
- 4 1⁄2 cups boiling water or 4 1⁄2 cups hot stock
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh dill
- 1⁄2 lemon, juice and zest of
- freshly-grated parmesan cheese
- freshly-cracked black pepper
- In a large saucepan, saute the leeks and onion in the olive oil until softened, 4-5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water and tomato paste and bring temperature down to simmer. Cover saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add rice and 5 cups hot liquid, bring to boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in dill and lemon zest and juice. Remove from heat and allow to 'sit' for anywhere from 35=45 minutes before serving. The risotto will absorb extra liquid during this time, but remain creamy and hot.
- Serve with freshly-grated parmesan and cracked black pepper.