Normally spring has people thinking of fresh, light, foods. But then there’s spring in Chicago where I woke up this week to snow on the ground… I mean seriously it’s almost April. That being said I had something a little warmer in mind when putting together the ingredients for this month’s Chopped Kitchen Challenge.
The ingredients for this month were Artichokes, Leeks, Garlic, and Olive Oil. Seasonal, savory, and perfect for mixing with wine and cheese to make a big batch of creamy, cozy, risotto.
This was my first time ever cleaning/cooking artichokes, and I may or may not have had to go through a few youtube tutorials to make sure that the parts I was using were edible. Surprisingly everything came out and even the BF liked it, though he said it would be better with some bacon 😉
Spring Green Risotto
Serves 4 dinner portions, 6 side portions
2 leeks, green and white parts thinly sliced
2 Artichokes, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 TBSP Olive Oil
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine, optional just use more water/broth if desired
3-4 cups water, veggie broth, or a combination of both
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated, plus more for topping
Put your broth or water in a small sauce pot and heat to a simmer. Slice the leeks and artichokes and mince the garlic. Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add in the leeks and artichokes. Sautee for 3-5 minutes until tender, add garlic, and rice and saute for another minute until garlic is fragrant. Add in wine (if using) and stir to get the brown bits up off the bottom of the pan.
Add in 1/2 cup warm water/broth and stir to combine. Let the risotto simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid is almost absorbed before adding another 1/2 cup of warm liquid. Continue for 20-25 minutes until rice is al dente and creamy. Stir in the parmesan cheese, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve warm (it loses the creaminess as it cools) topped with extra cheese as desired.
Have you ever cooked with artichokes before? What do you do when preparing an ingredient you’re unfamiliar with?