The problem with me in the garden is I very often grow something, use some of it and leave the rest neglected. I keep looking at it thinking I must make something with the rest of that but weeks pass and I don't. That's what happened with my leeks. I picked the fat ones ages ago and made soup and leek fritters and then left the little ones to fatten up. Well I think they're as fat as they're going to get. In fact some of them have started to bolt. I was wondering if I'd wait and and collect the seeds but really it is time to use them. The patch where they are is soon be converted to a chicken run and I have purchased two of those skinny ballerina apple trees to squeeze in there either side of the fig tree. So, given that today is the first day of Summer they'd best be gone. No-one wants to eat leek and potato soup in Summer. Yesterday I picked them all and made this leek and mushroom risotto. My leeks were a bit of a miserable bunch. I didn't hill them up enough and by the time I chopped off the green there wasn't much white to actually use. But that's OK. I'll still grow them again. I keep learning tricks with each thing I grow each year.
I also could not resist pulling up a couple of my garlics to see what was happening. This is the first time I've grown it and I'm really excited. You are supposed to wait until the leaves have yellowed and are starting to become brown. Well mine aren't quite there yet - too small. But they didn't go to waste. I chopped an entire bulb up and popped it into the risotto too. Young garlic isn't as strong as the matured dried type but is good.
Leek & Mushroom Risotto
• 1.5 cups aborio rice
• 2-3 leeks, chopped
• 1/2 glass white wine
• 1 ltr vegetable stock
• 6-8 mushrooms, chopped
• 2 tbs butter
• 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
• 1 tbs chives, chopped
In a large saucepan, cook the leeks slowly in 1 tbs butter until golden. Heat the stock in a small saucepan and allow to simmer. When leeks are cooked, add the rice and stir until coated. Add the wine and stir. Add a ladle full of vegetable stock at a time, stirring frequently. Keep adding stock as the rice comes away from the edges of the pan and it is absorbed. Continue until the rice is cooked. In a separate pan cook the mushrooms in 1 tbs of butter. Stir the mushroom mixture, chives and parmesan cheese through the rice when it is cooked and allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.