A creamy whole grain risotto with shrimp and leeks that’s perfect for spring.
I owe you all a bit of an apology. My posting schedule has been a little bit sporadic lately due to a hectic schedule. Between clinical rotations and studying for my last exam of graduate school(!), it’s been a little difficult to get posts up on time, and in the mix of all that, my husband and I drove to West Texas (about a 6 hour drive from Dallas) at the end of last week to do some house hunting. Yep. We’re moving back to West Texas! My husband and I both went to Texas Tech as undergrads, and we are returning to our alma mater for him to pursue a graduate degree as soon as I graduate from my program.
So it’s fair to say I’ve had a lot on my mind and on my plate, but I like it that way. And now that I’ve finished clinical rotations and taken my last exam, I’ll have more time to focus on sharing delicious recipes with all of you! Like this yummy Shrimp and Leek Risotto.
This recipe was born out of necessity, like many of my recipes. I came home one night to a pretty sparse vegetable drawer except for a few leeks, no protein thawed out for dinner, and no plan. It’s for situations like these that I usually keep a bag of shrimp in the freezer for quick thawing and lots of different grains in the pantry, especially brown rice.
Since we are trying to save money and reduce food waste by using up everything in the refrigerator before buying more, I’ve been doing frequent dinners like this, and it’s oddly satisfying making a delicious, healthy, and elegant dinner out of next to nothing. It’s almost become a game for me, but that’s what I love about cooking. It gets those creative juices flowing that don’t exactly get used in a clinical setting. So what did I do in this particular dinner challenge? Make risotto of course!
This was actually my first attempt at making real risotto. I’d made cheater’s risotto before, but this time I wanted to try the real thing, which is a little more labor intensive with brown rice since it takes a while to become fully cooked. But if your idea of relaxing is standing over the stove with a glass of wine (mine is!) then this is a great recipe for you. It will seem like the rice will never become soft and creamy, but just keep adding liquid and stirring. I promise you’ll get there eventually! And the result is a deliciously creamy bowl of whole grains studded with savory shrimp and leeks bound by rich parmesan…aka to di for. It’s healthy comfort food at its finest.
In the spirit of reducing food waste, I challenge you to get creative and use up the produce you have lurking in the back of your refrigerator this week. You can even make a risotto of your own. You’ll feel satisfied knowing you can be resourceful and still create a delicious dinner. Plus you’ll save a trip to the store, which is always a plus!
A creamy whole grain risotto with shrimp and leeks that's perfect for spring
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 large leek, cleaned and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small shallot, minced
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 cups short grain brown rice
- 1 cup white wine
- 8-9 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
- 1/4 cup fat free milk
- Add shrimp and lemon juice to a bowl, stirring to coat. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan, bring broth to a low boil. Keep warm on low heat.
- In a large dutch oven or pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped leek, garlic, and shallot. Cook, stirring, until leek is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste and transfer to a bowl for later. Add shrimp to dutch oven and cook, stirring, until shrimp are pink and cooked through. Remove to bowl that leeks are in.
- In same dutch oven, add brown rice and stir until rice in slightly toasted. Add white wine and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to deglaze, if necessary. Continue to stir until the liquid is absorbed.
- Ladle broth into rice, one ladle full at a time, stirring until each is absorbed before adding the next. Eventually you will end up with full cooked, creamy rice. If it seems like it will never be done, just keep adding liquid and stirring!
- Once rice is done, stir in cooked leeks and shrimp, parmesan, milk, and salt and pepper to taste. Continue cooking until warmed through. Dish into bowls and enjoy!