Remember the other day when I declared, quite triumphantly, that my son Jack said he “loved” rice? Well, I got a little cocky because I somehow thought that maybe this love of rice, bold as it is, could translate to perhaps, to something a little more…sophisticated. That adventurous palate of his, with his love of all things bland, I thought maybe I could take this love, this exuberant declaration made at the table the other week, and expand upon it. Expand that love into such a bold dish as…risotto.
Then I remembered that he’s four.
As much as I gracefully tried to get him to take a bite, then a little less gracefully begged him to take a bite, he stayed strong. His will was tougher than my 7 PM self could bare and he left it there, untouched, not a grain even lifted from his plate.
Though not all was lost as the adults were well-fed, full of this gorgeous dish, one that was lovingly made that my sons will maybe one day know.
I guess this path I’m on is full of twists and turns as this weekend (without my urging I’ll just say), my older son ate a hotdog. And then another. There were certainly mixed feelings there as it was, yes, a new food, but one that is usually on many kids menus across the country. I should be happy though as really anything new is better than nothing new.
However, perhaps you will have better luck as this risotto is worth making. It’s adapted from my new (old) cookbook which I just rediscovered- Deborah Madison’s Local Flavors which I bought years ago, but forgot about until now. It’s a really terrific book if you are trying to eat in season and especially now with the markets in full swing.
I think I’ll make one more attempt though. So stay tuned for the next episode in the rice series, entitled, “Risotto Cakes. Will they bite?”
Leek and Garlic Scape Risotto
adapted from Local Flavors, by Deborah Madison
1 large or 2 small leeks, white parts only
2 garlic scapes, chopped (if you don’t have garlic scapes, use a few cloves fresh garlic)
2 T butter
1 cup white wine
salt and pepper
6 cups veggie or chicken stock
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup creme fraiche or cream
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
Cut white part of the leek in half longways and chop into 1/4 inch slices. Fill a bowl of water and put sliced leeks in and swish around until all dirt it out of the leeks (dirt can get trapped inside the leek so don’t skip this step.) Melt 2 T butter in a pan and add leeks and scapes (or garlic), stir, then add 1/2 cup wine and cook for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
In a small pot, heat stock.
Add rice to pan with garlic and stir for one minute. Pour in the other 1/2 cup wine and simmer until absorbed. Add 2 cups hot stock to rice pan and simmer until absorbed, stirring frequently. Begin adding 1/2 cupfuls of stock, stirring each time until absorbed until rice is done and seems creamy. Stir in the cream, cheese and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.