Spring Risotto with Leeks and Roasted Radishes

April 22nd, 2012 by Erin Gennow
Spring Risotto with Leeks and Roasted Radishes

Spring Risotto with Leeks and Roasted Radishes

Spring Risotto with Leeks and Roasted Radishes

Roasting radishes turns them sweet and nutty.  This risotto is perfect for a cool spring evening.  Sweet sautéed leeks and nutty radishes are the perfect accents to the creamy risotto.
Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30-40 minutes

Serves: 4 (easily doubled)



1-2 bunches radishes, radishes cut in half or quarters if large

2 teaspoons olive oil

Fine sea salt


1 cup short grained rice such as Arborio or Carnaroli rice

2 large leeks, cut lengthwise in half and then thinly sliced in half moon shapes

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon butter

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

¼ cup dry white wine

5-6 cups chicken or vegetable broth (homemade if you have it!)

1 lemon, zest and a squeeze of juice (optional)

Salt to taste

Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese, freshly grated, to taste

Italian parsley, finely chopped for garnish, optional



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Wash and trim the radishes and cut in halves or quarters if large.  Place the radishes on a rimmed sheet pan or in a skillet. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil and sprinkle with fine sea salt.  Roast for 20-30 minutes or until they pierce easily with a fork and the edges are starting to tinge with brown.

Radishes Ready for Roasting

Radishes Ready for Roasting


Put the 6 cups of broth in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring up to a low simmer, then turn the heat to low just to keep the broth hot.

While the broth is heating, finely slice your leeks and mince your 2 garlic cloves.

Melt the 1 tablespoon of butter in 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven or large deep sided skillet over medium heat.  I like a pan with a wide bottom to help heat the rice.  Even though you are using 1 cup of rice, it will expand a lot.  Add the sliced leeks and minced garlic and sea salt to taste and sauté until soft, about 8 minutes.

Once the leek is soft, add in 1 cup of short grained rice to the pot and stir with a wooden spoon.  Cook for a couple minutes, still stirring to toast the rice.  It should start to smell a bit nutty.  Now add in the ¼ cup of wine if using and stir until the rice has absorbed all the liquid.  If you are not using wine go to the next step.

Now you start adding the hot broth, 1 ladle full at a time, and stir continuously.  I like using a wooden spoon to stir.  Once the rice has absorbed most of the broth, add another ladle.  Continue in this manner until the rice is fully cooked, but still a bit al dente (has a slightly chewy bite to it).  The rice will absorb the liquid quickly at first and more slowly toward the end of cooking.

You should be cooking over about medium heat, but may need to adjust a bit, especially toward the end of cooking.

As the rice gets closer to done, start tasting and add more salt if needed.  You may not use all of your broth by the time the rice is fully cooked.  If you use all of your broth and you still need to cook your rice longer (not usually the case) you may add water.

At the very end add in the zest from 1 lemon and the juice from half to the lemon.  Add in the roasted radishes and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano to taste.  Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

Serve and eat immediately, with additional Parmigiano at the table.  I like to serve a salad or other vegetable on the side to complete the meal.

A year ago on The Daily Morsel


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