Rice Pilaf with Leeks and Saffron
Leek rice is one of the great vegetable rice main courses in the Greek kitchen.
- 5 cup vegetable stock
- 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large leeks finely chopped
- 1 small fennel bulb finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove finely chopped
- 1 cup Greek "glasé" or Greek Carolina rice
- 1 cup dry white wine
- freshly ground black pepper
- 15 Kozani red saffron threads
- 3 lb grated Kasseri or other mild Greek or Mediterranean sheep's milk cheese
- Heat the stock in a pot and keep it aside, simmering.
- In a large, deep skillet heat half the oil and sauté the leeks, fennel bulb, and garlic.
- Add the rice and stir for 1 to 2 minutes. Lower the heat. Pour in half the wine and as soon as it steams off, add the remaining wine. When that is absorbed, add half a cup hot broth.
- Continue to stir until all the liquid is absorbed.
- Repeat the procedure until the rice is tender but al dente, using up most of the hot broth.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- About 5 to 6 minutes before removing the rice, mix the saffron with one tablespoon of hot broth and add it to the risotto.
- Stir to distribute evenly. When the rice is ready, remove and stir in the grated Kasseri. Serve hot.
Photo credit and inspiration: dianekochilas.com