Risotto is great for students: it’s a classic quick meal, and as long as you have some arborio rice, you can use up pretty much anything in your fridge or cupboard making wonderfully inventive variations on the dish. It’s also a good dish to make during revision season: it only takes about 20 minutes to cook, but you need to constantly stir it during that time to ensure you get the rice deliciously creamy – the perfect amount of time to destress after a day revising. Leeks are a beautiful winter vegetable – fresh, sweet and easy to cook, and the lemon adds a touch of summer to the darkness of January.
It’s not traditional to use cheddar cheese in risotto, but it’s delicious! If you want a more traditional risotto, Sainsbury’s Basics hard cheese makes a decent, budget alternative to parmesan.
Leek and Lemon Risotto
2-3 tbsp oil (olive or sunflower)
1 leek, sliced
1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
225g arborio rice
1 stock cube
1 lemon, squeezed (or 3 tbsp lemon juice)
1-2 handfuls cheddar cheese or Sainsbury’s Basics hard cheese (depending on how much you love cheese. If you don’t like cheese, you can still make a delish risotto without)
Salt and pepper
- Melt half the butter in the saucepan with the oil in a small-medium saucepan.
- Cook the onion and leek in the butter/oil over a medium-low heat until they’re soft, ensuring they don’t burn. Whilst they’re cooking, whisk the stock cube in a jugful of boiling water.
- Once the onion and leek are cooked, add the rice and stir thoroughly until all the grains are covered in oil. Cook, constantly stirring, for about a minute over a low heat.
- Pour some stock over the rice and stir until it is absorbed, and carry on adding the stock little by little, stirring until each addition is absorbed. Make sure you constantly stir your risotto to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom.
- When it’s almost cooked, add the lemon and stir until it’s absorbed.
- Once the rice is cooked, but still retaining a little firmness, remove it from the heat. Add the rest of the butter and the cheese, and beat it to make it nice and oozy and creamy. Let it rest, with the lid on, for a few minutes before serving. Serve with extra cheese sprinkled on top.