Thursday, October 18, 2012

Leek Risotto with Apples, Spinach, and Blue Cheese

Sometimes a set of ingredients just speaks to me tells me what I need to do with it.  Such was the case here, with apples, spinach, and leeks in the fridge (I had to go out and buy the blue cheese, but the apples and spinach insisted).  Choose a blue cheese of your liking; I recommend erring on the side of mildness rather than pungency here.  You want it to be flavorful but not to completely overwhelm the rest of the dish.  I used a marvelous sheep's milk blue from Seabrook Farm in Vermont.  For the apples, choose ones that are nice and tart that will hold their shape well when cooked - I used Macouns.

Olive oil
3 medium-large leeks, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
3 1/2 cups chicken stock
3 medium-sized tart apples, peeled and diced
1/2 lb spinach, stemmed and well chopped
3-4 oz. crumbled or diced blue cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Make the risotto in the pressure cooker: Heat a little olive oil in the bottom of the cooker and saute about one third of the sliced leeks for 2 minutes or so.  Add the rice and saute for a minute or two.  Pour in the stock, bring the cooker to pressure, and cook for 7 minutes.  Release pressure.

While the risotto cooks, heat a bit more oil in a large skillet and saute the remainder of the leeks for 2-3 minutes.  Add the apples and cook over medium heat until tender but not soft (you don't want applesauce here).  Add the spinach and cook for a few minutes, covered, until it wilts.  Stir in the blue cheese and let it melt, then mix well.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve mounds of risotto topped generously with the apple and spinach mixture.

Serves about 4.

No comments: