1 bunch leeks1 large carrot or beet (beets will make a pink risotto!) 2 Tbsp. olive oil ¾ cup dry white wine 3 Tbsp. parmesan cheese (optional) fennel fronds for garnish, if available freshly ground pepper 2 fennel bulbs ½ tsp salt, plus more to taste 2 cups uncooked Arborio rice 1 tsp. minced fresh thyme 2 Tbsp. butter (optional) 8 cups water, or vegetable or chicken broth
Bring water or broth to a simmer in a large saucepan, and reduce heat to very low. Clean and trim carrots or beets, fennel and leeks, adding trimmings to simmering water. Chop vegetables—I like a small dice but a regular chop will do as well. Heat oil over medium heat in a large saucepan, add vegetables and sauté 10 minutes or until vegetables just begin to brown on the edges. Add rice and salt and sauté 2 minutes. Add wine and stir until liquid has been absorbed. Add broth ½ cupful at a time through a strainer (to keep trimmings out), stirring until each addition has been absorbed before adding more. Continue cooking, stirring, and adding broth until rice is tender but not a total mush, 20-30 minutes. You may not need all the broth. Remove from heat, add thyme and optional butter and stir until melted. Add salt to taste. Garnish with freshly ground pepper, optional Parmesan and fennel fronds. Serve with a crunchy salad. Four large or 8 small servings.
recipe from Eatwell Farm's former CSA manager, Tom McElderry