Bacon, Leek and Spinach Risotto

by Heather on March 31, 2011

I don’t know about you, but I love risotto.  I love it, but I never make time for it.  It’s one of those sit-by-the-stove-for-hours-stirring-and-then-it-makes-too-much-for-two-people-to-eat-in-a-week kind of dishes.

But if there’s anything I’ve learned in the past couple weeks, it’s that there never was a more perfect pairing than leeks and bacon.  They’re made for eachother, and even if using leeks adds another couple minutes onto the risotto cook time it’s well worth the extra effort.

 

When we were planning out our meals for this week I knew I wanted to make a bacon and leek risotto. Below is my exact train of thought:

 

Mmmmmmm…bacon and leek risotto sounds good!

 

I wonder if there’s any room for a side salad?

 

Who am I kidding, salad sounds terrible.

 

But I have to fit some veggies in there!

 

Do you really?

 

YES.

 

OK, well what about spinach?  Could spinach work?

 

Sure.  Fine.  Whatever.  As long as the bacon’s still there…

 

And there you have it…my schizophrenic brain working on dinner plans.  (side note:  I am not actually schizophrenic.  just to clarify)  But really, the bacon-loving part of me was NOT having it with the veggies, but I figure we need as many as we can get.  And this risotto is perfect for that…there’s a TON of spinach in there, and just enough of the Arborio rice to make it fancy!

BACON, LEEK AND SPINACH RISOTTO

  • 4 cups liquid (I used 1/2 cup white wine, 3 cups chicken stock, and 1/2 cups of water)
  • 4-6 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 1 cups Arborio rice
  • 3 leeks, chopped and rinsed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bag of spinach (approximately 6 cups fresh spinach)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated or shredded parmesan cheese

In a large (and I do mean LARGE) pot, cook the bacon to crisp on medium low heat – although I didn’t do this, I would recommend removing the bacon and sprinkling on top of the finished risotto.  Saute the chopped leek until soft, about 7 minutes.  Add minced garlic and saute for another 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the rice and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the kernels start to take on a toasted color.  Add 1/2 cup of wine to help deglaze the pan.  From that point on, add a 1/2 cup of liquid at a time, constantly stirring, until the rice is cooked.  When the rice is cooked and the amount of liquid in the risotto is minimal, remove from the heat and add the cheese and the spinach.  Stir together until cheese is melted, spinach is wilted, and everything is combined!

I’m glad I convinced myself to add the spinach…we loved every bite of this risotto and practically licked the plate clean!  I guess I’ll listen to myself more ;)

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