This Fennel & Leek Risotto With Smoked Mozzarella is (in my opinion) the best tasting dish I’ve ever made. Bold statement right? It’s the TRUTH!
This recipe was inspired by a risotto I had on my honeymoon in Capri. Full disclosure: I’ve thought about this risotto far too many times over the years to be healthy! I don’t know why it took me so long to recreate but better late than never! Right?
PS You better believe I’m making this risotto again this weekend because I didn’t have leftovers for arancini (at least that’s what I’m telling myself). I’m making up for lost time over here! Please refrain from judgement.
Fennel and Leek Risotto with Smoked Mozzarella
- 1 grater
- 1 wooden spoon
- 1 large and deep skillet or Dutch oven
- 1 medium saucepan
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter divided
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 head of fennel fronds reserved, halved lengthwise, core removed, cut into cubes
- 1 ½ cups leeks green parts removed, halved lengthwise, sliced into half moons; about 1 large leek
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- kosher salt
- freshly ground pepper
- ½ cup dry white wine like sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio
- 1 cup uncooked arborio rice may sub carnaroli or vialone nano
- 4 cups stock veggie, chicken, or seafood
- 1 tsp fresh thyme chopped
- ¾ cup smoked mozzarella ⅓ cut into small cubes and ⅔ grated
- ½ cup Pecorino Romano finely grated
- In a medium saucepan, bring chicken stock to a simmer. You never want to add cold stock to a risotto!
- In a large-deep skillet, olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. Add leeks and sauté, while stirring, for 3 minutes.
- Add fennel and garlic; sprinkle lightly with salt. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the arborio rice and stir, ensuring each grain is coated in butter & olive oil. Cook until the rice is translucent, about 1 minute.
- Add the white wine and cook until most of it has evaporated, about 2 minutes.
- Add chicken stock, 1 ladle at a time. Cook while stirring, until the liquid has been absorbed by the rice before adding more stock. Continue adding stock 1 ladle at a time, until the rice is slightly al dente. You still want the rice to have a slight bite to it. Do not overcook risotto! I beg you! This whole process should take no more than 16 minutes.
- Add salt and pepper, to taste. When rice is al dente, remove from heat and stir in grated cheese and remaining butter.
- Garnish with cubes cheese, fennel fronds, and black pepper. Serve immediately!