So, when I originally made this, I didn’t have quite the right quantities for doing so (I think I only had half the necessary rice and tried to reduce accordingly), but what I got out of it was pretty good, and I definitely want to try making this again. Seems like a perfect spring type recipe, with the lemon, and especially with the herb garden I want to get going out here. 

Baked Risotto with Finnes Herbes and Lemon

Ingredients

  • 3 T butter, divided
  • 1 large leek, white and pale green parts finely chopped and well washed
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2.5 t sea salt
  • .5 t fresh ground pepper
  • 1.5 c arborio rice
  • 1.25 c dry white wine
  • 3.5 to 4 c chicken stock, warmed
  • .5 c Parmesan cheese (I used parmigiano reggiano)
  • .5 t fresh lemon zest
  • (original recipe recommends .25 c fresh parsley, 3 T finely sliced chives, and 1 T coarsely chopped fresh tarragon, I think I did a bunch of dried parsley and tarragon, going to try that again once fresh herbs are more in season)

Preheat your oven to 425. Keep your chicken stock warm in a separate nearby pot. While your oven preheats, take a large (roughly 2 qt, I used this to break in my new dutch oven) baking dish, and lightly butter it. If you’re me, what you’ll do is just use that dutch oven for everything, making this a one-pot meal. If you don’t have a baking dish that’s stovetop usable, grab a separate pot. Whatever you end up cooking in, melt 2 T butter over medium heat. Once melted, add your chopped leek and onion, sea salt, and pepper, and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally, which should take around 10 minutes.

Then, add your rice. Stir to coat in the butter, and cook until the rice starts toasting (you’ll get a nice nutty smell, and it sizzles and pops a bit), about two minutes or so. Then, add your wine, increase the heat to medium-high, and simmer until almost completely absorbed, about three minutes total. (And yes, in accordance with the other risotto recipes, you absolutely need to drink the rest of the bottle of wine for science.)  Then, add 3 c of chicken stock, bring everything back to a simmer, and either just put it straight in the oven, or, if you needed a separate dish, put it in that. 

Bake your risotto for five minutes at a time, stirring every five minutes, for fifteen minutes total, until the stock is completely absorbed into the risotto. (See the difference between pictures 3 and 4.) Remove from the oven, and stir in your herbs of choice, the remaining 1 T butter, the parmesan, and the lemon zest. Then add the remaining .5 to 1 c chicken stock slowly, and stir until the rice is creamy. Season to taste with more sea salt and pepper, and enjoy!

I tried this recipe on a whim, as there were some really good plums at the Green City Market last weekend, and this seemed like a neat way to make a soup. I could’ve put yogurt in this, but honestly, I just wanted something sweet, so I’ll save that for next time. The resulting soup made for a great dinner last night, and I think next time, I’m gonna double the recipe so there’s more to be had. And plus? It’s simple, it’s quick, it smells fantastic while it’s cooking, and it can be ready pretty damn quick. 

Chilled Plum Soup
Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs plums, halved and pitted
  • 1 c apple juice
  • (1 T ginger, peeled and sliced into chunks, whoops, forgot this)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 T honey (substituted for agave)
  • .25 t sea salt
  • 1 t tarragon leaves
  • (yogurt to serve)

Take all ingredients except yogurt, combine into a pot, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and let simmer for twenty minutes, until the plums are good and soft. Then, take a stick blender and run it through the soup and puree until you have a silky smooth soup. Take the soup out of the pot, put it into a bowl, and chill (if you need it ready to go quick, put it straight into the freezer for under a half hour, otherwise, just let it sit in the fridge). Add yogurt and swirl in, if so desired. 

And then? Enjoy your delicious soup!