And… Oven-baked leek and bacon risotto

Let’s play hide-the-bacon-bits

Hello again! The other day I showed you a recipe for cassoulet and today I bring you an oven-baked risotto! I have made risotto before (in my pre-blogging days), but I sometimes get bored with having to stand over it constantly stirring. I like to be able to walk off and come back to a dish, hence my favourable disposition to one-pot dishes like the cassoulet and jambalaya that have featured so heavily before! When I saw this recipe in Sainsbury’s Magazine (I think), it intrigued me. I always thought risottos had to be looked after constantly, but apparently not! Here then, is my adaptation on the oven baked leek and bacon risotto:

Oven baked leek and bacon risotto

Serves 3-4. Prep: 5 mins. Cook: 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pack lardons (bacon bits)
  • 2 leeks, halved lengthways and sliced
  • 250g risotto rice (I used arborio)
  • 700ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 175g frozen peas
  • 3 tbsp soft cheese (I used Philadephia Light)
  • zest of 1 lemon

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 200C/180 fan/gas 6. Tip the oil into a casserole dish. Add the bacon/lardons and fry for 2 minutes. Add the leeks and cook until soft, about 4-5 minutes. Tip in rice and cook for 1 min more. Pour over stock. Cover and place in the oven for 20 mins, stirring halfway.
  2. When rice is just tender and liquid is absorbed, remove from oven and stir in peas. Place back in oven for 2 mins more. Remove and stir in cheese. Add zest, season and serve.

This dish really turned out well. The lemon, although added right at the end, completely changed the flavour, adding a real zing. I love using lardons and peas together (blupdates passim ad nauseum), and the leeks were a great addition to that little pairing. Next time I think I’ll add some parmesan too, just to bind it together a bit more, and add a bit of strength to the soft cheese.

Here are the three stages of risotto!

Pre-rice:

Post-rice:

Finito!

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