artichoke, leek + lemon risotto

photo by Jennifer Johnson 

1 leek, white and light green parts, trimmed and chopped
5 cups homemade (or low-sodium) vegetable stock
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, or to taste
Zest of 1 lemon
1 lemon, cut into wedges for serving

  1. Place leeks in a sieve and rinse under cold water several times to remove dirt. Set aside.
  2. Place stock in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add leeks and cook until softened, 5-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
  4. Add rice and cook for another minute. Add wine and cook until evaporated. Add 1/2 cup hot stock and stir. When some of stock has absorbed, add another 1/2 cup stock, stirring consistently (add more stock before mixture starts to look dry). Reduce heat to medium-low as it cooks if mixture is too bubbly. Continue adding stock, 1/2 cup at a time until rice is tender, 30-35 minutes (begin tasting rice after 25 minutes; risotto should be creamy and rice cooked thoroughly).
  5. Stir in artichoke hearts and cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in most of goat cheese and Parmigiano-Reggiano, saving a bit of each for garnish. Add about 3/4 of lemon zest (save remaining for garnish), and remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Transfer to serving bowls and garnish with remaining goat cheese and Parmigiano-Reggiano, lemon zest, and a drizzle of lemon juice to taste. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Serves 4-6.