Cheddar Cheese Risotto

Such a weird and yet so tasty combination could only be the result of Nigella’s diabolical mind. I have to say, I was instantly attracted to this because, as a big cheese fan, I didn’t want to miss the chance to include it even in risottos. And yes, I know you usually use Parmesan cheese in normal risotto anyway, but a risotto where the cheese gets the spotlight is truly wonderful. If you want to be at peace with your conscience, consider it a leek risotto with plenty of added cheddar. Easy and very straightforward to make, it needs to be eaten on the same day, possibly within an hour of making. It tends to go a bit hard when left in the fridge, so it doesn’t lend itself too well to a packed lunch.

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Ingredients

  • a few knobs of butter
  • olive oil
  • 2 leeks, finely sliced
  • 300g risotto rice
  • 125ml white wine
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 L hot vegetable stock
  • 125g Cheddar, chopped
  • fresh chives, chopped, to decorate

Method

  1. Melt the butter and drizzle some olive oil in a pan, then tumble in the leeks and cook over a medium heat until softened.
  2. Add the rice and keep on stirring until glossy and slick, then turn up the heat and add the wine and mustard. Keep on stirring until the wine has been absorbed.
  3. Start ladling the stock into the pan, ensuring each ladleful of stock gets absorbed before adding a new one. Keep on stirring.
  4. Continue adding the stock until the rice is al dente, that is with a bit of a bite.
  5. Add the cheese and keep on stirring to avoid the rice sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  6. Take the pan off the heat and spoon the risotto into dishes, then scatter with some chives, add a twist of pepper of you want and enjoy.

Tips

  • As usual, I have made this risotto with Red Leicester and it came out as nice as with standard mature cheddar. Try other cheeses such as Gorgonzola or Gruyere, you won’t be disappointed!
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