Baked leek and saffron risotto is a cheat’s version of the traditional Risotto alla Milanese, which is continuously stirred for 20 minutes or so on the stove, and served as an accompaniment to osso bucco (veal shin bones). I love this baked version because it frees you up to prepare other things in the kitchen while it cooks. The leek is sweet, while the aromatic saffron threads and lemon rind give this rice dish its beautiful golden colour. I love to serve this dish with grilled green vegetables, or roasted root vegetables, and then dollop a spoonful of carrot leaf pesto over the top.
It’s worth making your own stock if you have the time and the inclination. If not, I’d recommend using a pack of liquid stock rather than the powdered stock cubes which are very salty. You’ll find instructions for making vegetable stock here: Pea and Lettuce Soup with Mint and Chives
And to go with the baked leek and saffron risotto is the recipe for Grilled Vegetables with Carrot Leaf Pesto
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Baked Leek and Saffron Risotto
- 1 leek, washed and slice into thin rounds
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 lemon
- 2 pinches saffron threads
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 250 mL white wine
- 1 L vegetable stock
- Parmesan rind (optional)
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200° C (180°C fan-forced).
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium-sized casserole dish, then add the leek, garlic and a pinch of salt. Stir over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until the leek is soft.
- Add the saffron threads, the lemon rind and cook another minute until fragrant.
- Add the rice and stir to coat with the olive oil mixture.
- Pour in the wine, turn up the heat a little and cook for a few minutes until the rice has absorbed the wine.
- Add the stock, paremsan rind, bring to the boil, put the lid on the casserole dish and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. Remove the parmesan rind and the lemon rind befro serving.
- Serve with grilled vegetables and pesto on top.