leek and prosciutto risotto with fresh mint and chilies

leek and prosciutto risotto with fresh mint and chilies / bitebymichelle.com

Fresh Mint is one of my favourite herbs to grow. It’ll grow anywhere and it grows quickly. Actually it grows too well. I planted it in my herb garden and spent the next four years weeding it out! Mint is the perfect planter herb. When all else fails, your mint will be lush and abundant. I grow mine in a huge pot by the back door and snip it all summer long!

If you’ve never made risotto, don’t be put off by all of the urban myths surrounding this absolute Italian soul food. It’s effortless as long as you like to stir. Gently stirring while it cooks ensures a gorgeous creamy texture. Risotto is meant to be loose and succulent – damn I just drooled – not stiff and thick. Restaurants rarely get it right because they cook it right up until it’s finished. The rice continues to absorb the broth even after it’s taken off the heat which is why it’s often gloopy when served. Look closely at my first shot. See the bit of broth at the side of the pan. That’s when you pull the risotto from the stove. The rice is done but still has some room before it gets thick. Trust me, risotto is easy and a wonderful treat to whip up for family and friends.

leek and prosciutto risotto with fresh mint and chilies / bitebymichelle.com

Leek and Prosciutto Risotto with Fresh Mint and Chilies
serves 2-3

1 cup Arborio rice
1 leek, sliced and cleaned
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 slices good quality imported prosciutto, ripped into large pieces
6 large fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 dried red chili, crushed
4 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade but commercial will still be good!…bring to just before the boil and keep warm.
1 cup Reggiano Parmigiano, freshly grated

leek and prosciutto risotto with fresh mint and chilies / bitebymichelle.com

THE STEPS:

  • In a deep skillet, melt butter with extra virgin olive oil over medium heat.
  • When butter is frothing add leeks…sauté for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Add prosciutto pieces and sauté for 1 minute
  • Add Arborio rice and stir until well coated with butter/oil mixture Heating the rice ensures quick absorption of the broth.
  • Add hot broth 1/4 cup at a time…stirring gently until broth is incorporated.
  • Continue until rice is almost al dente…
  • Add chopped mint and crushed chili.
  • When risotto is al dente stir in the grated cheese.
  • Garnish with shards of Reggiano and a rosette of fresh mint

THE LOVE: Risotto should have a loose consistency. It should NOT look like a plate of porridge – in my humble opinion…

leek and prosciutto risotto with fresh mint and chilies / bitebymichelle.com

print recipe

leek and prosciutto risotto with fresh mint and chilies / bitebymichelle.com

one year ago: grilled brie, prosciutto and asparagus sandwich

two years ago: off to Italy

three years ago: easy apple tart

leek and prosciutto risotto with fresh mint and chilies / bitebymichelle.com

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Thanks for reading.

  • Judith

    Beautiful as usual. Would this work without the prosciutto and if so – what would you substitute the meat with?

    • Michelle

      Good Morning my friend, hmmm… no prosciutto. Yes, it would work. Don’t add anything else or add another vegetable at the same time you add the leek. xo

  • This is lovely Michelle. I like how you kept the proscuitto pieces a little larger. Haven’t made risotto in awhile, I think I’ll make some this weekend using your recipe. Thank you for the nudge!

    • Michelle

      I love getting that big piece of prosciutto on my fork rather than miniscule pieces. Hope you like it!!

  • This looks delicious! I’ve recently discovered a new love of mint. My past has always been filled with too much mint, overpowering a dish. But I’m now learning how just a little bit can really add a new dimension to a dish. Will have to try this!

    • Michelle

      You are bang on – the right amount makes all the difference in the world – too much is not good!

  • meggie

    Theo doesn’t like risotto, so I think the last time I had it was about…………… 8 years ago lol

    So when I get home before Theo gets there this is a request please! xoxo

    • Michelle

      you got it Sweetheart!