I made this Roasted Leek and Brie Risotto for some friends that came over for dinner and it was an absolute hit! We had already gorged ourselves on appetizers and homemade bread, but this risotto was SO GOOD that it was disappearing as if we had not eaten all day.
The brie makes this one of the creamiest risottos to date. The mozzarella in our Balsamic Caprese Risotto stays a little stretchy, but this brie melts right in. I love to use a little of the brie to throw on top when serving so that there are some chunks of delicious cheese that have not melted in.
There is magic in roasting vegetables. Roasting pulls out a sweetness and depth of flavor that transforms the vegetables and makes them one of my favorite ways to eat vegetables. Leeks are in the onion family, but you would never know that when you eat a roasted leek. If you do not have time to roast, you can saute the leeks over medium heat.
Arborio rice is a very specific type of rice that is used for risotto. You can find it at most grocery stores in the rice section, but I prefer to get mine online. This affiliate link will take you to one of my favorite brands of arborio rice to use. It comes in plastic jars that are easy to keep sealed, and there is an organic option as well on the right side!
The quality of Parmesan in this dish is extremely important. The cheese is a primary flavor and so you want to use ingredients that taste good as it will just make the dish better. If you use that fake, pre-ground, cheese in a can stuff, it will not taste as good. You get out of it what you put into it! I love to buy wedges of Parmesan Reggiano cheese and use (affiliate) one of my favorite tools, a food processor, to shred the brick and then I keep it in my refrigerator in plastic bags so that I always have fresh, quality cheese shredded on hand. If you make healthier and higher-quality foods easier to access, you will use them more often.
Risotto was always somewhat intimidating to me. I would hear about how difficult it is to cook. Lots of stirring and the gradual adding of liquid sounded complicated so I avoided it for a long time. But it is really not that difficult, it just takes a little time and attention with the stirring. Just get comfortable, grab a glass of wine, and settle in for some one-on-one personal time with your risotto. You can do it, too! It is definitely worth the effort and this Roasted Leek and Brie Risotto will likely become a family favorite!
- Preheat oven to 350F. Slice leek into 3/4" rings. Place the leeks into a medium bowl filled with water. Gently swish the leeks around in the water to dislodge any dirt or sand that is stuck in the leek layers.
- Remove leeks from the water and spread out on a baking sheet lined with a silicone pad or tin foil. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
- Place the leeks on the middle rack of the oven to roast while the risotto is cooking.
- Place the stock in a pot and heat over medium low. You want the stock to be warm when adding it to the risotto so that the temperature change does not affect the rice.
- In a large pot over medium heat, melt 3 Tbsp of the butter. When melted, add the red onion. Cook until the onion is translucent but not yet browning, approximately 3-5 minutes.
- Add the rice and stir. Continue cooking to slightly toast the rice until it is just starting to show a little brown color, approximately 3-5 minutes.
- Add the white wine to the pot. Cook until the rice is almost dry, where most of the wine has been absorbed.
- Add one cup of stock to the rice. Stir continuously until most of the stock has been absorbed. Repeat this process one cup of stock at a time until the rice is cooked thoroughly. You want the rice to have just a little bit of bite left so that it is not completely mushy. Depending on your rice, you may need more or less stock for the right consistency so start tasting the rice after 4 cups have been added.
- When your rice is cooked through, remove the pot from the heat. Add the rest of the butter, the Parmesan cheese, roasted leeks, and brie. It is important to do this before adding salt and pepper because the cheese is salty and the leeks have salt and pepper on it. Stir to combine.
- Taste the risotto and season with salt and pepper as desired.