Kale & Leek Risotto

Risotto! It is so easy to make, and pretty much fail proof. It is one of my go-to meals when I have a lot of veggies on hand and want something fairly quick and easy to make after a long day at work. This week I used a mixture of kale, shallots, leeks, lemon, and Parmesan cheese – a little army of magical flavors. If you haven’t tried making risotto before, I recommend it!

Ingredients: (serves 2)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 shallot, chopped
1 heaping cup sliced leeks
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup water
Juice of half a lemon (plus more at the end, if needed)
1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
Pinch red pepper flakes
3 cups unsalted chicken stock (or broth)
1 cup de-stemmed chopped kale
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

Start by bringing the chicken broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Keep on low.

In a heavy saucepan, cook the garlic and shallot in some olive oil for a minute, then add the leeks and cook together until everything is softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add the rice and stir for another 1-2 minutes to toast the rice a little. Next add the 1/2 cup of water, lemon juice, lemon zest, and the red pepper flakes. Cook and mix until liquid is absorbed. Now, start adding the chicken stock… you’ll want to add 1/2 cup of the hot chicken stock at a time, cooking until liquid is completely absorbed before adding your next 1/2 cup of stock. Repeat this until all the stock us used. It will take about 15 minutes or so. You want to be stirring constantly to move the rice around and help it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. The rice will be soft but will still have a little firmness to it when finished. When the rice is about done, toss in the kale and parsley, then salt and pepper to taste. At the very end, fold in the Parmesan cheese.

Risotto is a great side and goes with almost anything. I eat it as my main meal a lot too, and often top it with a poached egg.

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