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Old School Leek and Mushroom Risotto

This Balsamic Mushroom and Leek Risotto recipe is a superb comforting meal traditionally made with simple seasonal ingredients.

Portrait close up image of a leek and mushroom risotto served in a white bowl

Risotto, Comfort Food Heaven!

A big comforting bowl of risotto is my idea of a perfect TV dinner and this recipe is a personal favourite of mine.

This leek and mushroom risotto is pretty old school, lovingly stirred from start to finish in the way a traditional risotto recipe usually is.

That however but that really does not make it a difficult dish.

It is a recipe where I go a little bit further to make it just perfect.

Adding seared leeks to the top of the dish add a new texture.

Then sauteeing the mushrooms in balsamic vinegar helps keep the flavours distinct and clean.

It is a similar approach to the one I take in both my Spinach and Mushroom Risotto, smoked haddock risotto and chicken and mushroom risotto recipes.

Portrait close up image of a creamy risotto with an out of focus slice of mushroom in the background

Cooking the Perfect Risotto.

I am steadfastly old school when it comes to risotto, it needs to be lovingly stirred.

Although after the first couple of additions of stock you do not need to stand there. Don’t tell my wife though, I like to say I have to stand there, then just enjoy my wine stirring my risotto!

It is important that you do not let the pan go completely dry between ladle fulls of stock.

But apart from that the making risotto for me goes, add stock, stir, sip wine, repeat until just right!

And when I say just right, risotto for me should “flow like lava”.

You should not be able to serve it on a plate, if it is “a lump” of risotto then it is not right. It should also not have a pool of liquid seeping from it.

Portrait image of a leek and mushroom risotto served in a white bowl

What Rice To Use?

There are lots of different varieties of rice that get used for risotto.

But there are two that are probably the most well known and easily found outside of Italy.

The most common variety is Arborio, it is the type I use in all of my risotto recipes. Not because it is the best but because it is the one I can buy locally.

The second is Carnaroli, considered by many to be the Rolls Royce of the risotto rice world.

Carnaroli rice is actually a little more forgiving to cook with and is less likely to turn mushy. It is also more starchy leading to a marginally more creamy risotto.

That does not mean that Arborio rice is rubbish. As I said, I use it for all of my risotto recipes.

Everything from this risotto to my tomato risotto, prawn risotto or roasted butternut squash risotto.

You just need to be a little careful when using arborio.

If you overcook it then it will go to mush, so test as you are getting to the end of the cooking process. You still want a little ‘chalkiness’ at the centre of the rice grain, not a lot but it should be there.

Portrait close up image of a slice of seared leek and mushroom sat on top of a creamy risotto

One Final Tip!

As far as I am concerned the key to making risotto is patience and my final risotto tip follows that theme.


When you get to the point where your risotto is just a tiny bit chalky inside and the stock all used up then relax!

Seriously, put a lid on it and let it sit for 5 minutes.

This is the perfect time to add more butter, throw in your cheese or other flavours you want in there.

The residual heat and the lid will prevent it from going cold.

Most importantly you have been stirring this bad boy for 25-30 minutes. Let it settle and allow the rice and flavours to finish doing their magic.

Then dish up into a warmed bowl and enjoy!

Square image of a leek and mushroom risotto served in a white bowl
Yield: 2 Servings

Leek and Mushroom Risotto Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

A simple risotto is a beautiful thing and this leek and mushroom risotto is as good as my risotto recipes get!


  • 150 g Arborio Rice
  • 500 ml Vegetable Stock
  • 125 g Butter
  • 75 g Onion
  • 1 Leek
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 125 ml White Wine
  • 200 g Mushrooms
  • 2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 35 g Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt to taste


  1. Dice the onion into a 2-3mm dice.
  2. Slice the leek into 5mm coins.
  3. Diced the garlic as finely as you can.
  4. Cut half of the mushrooms into a 5mm dice and slice the other half into 3-4mm thick slices.
  5. Heat the vegetable stock to a slow simmer.
  6. Heat a large skillet over a medium heat.
  7. Add 50g of butter and when it foams add the leeks and onions (reserving half a dozen leek rings for garnish) and cook for 10 minutes.
  8. Add in the diced garlic and cook for a further 1 minute.
  9. Add in the rice stirring until the grains become translucent at the edges.
  10. Turn up the heat to medium high and add in the white wine and stir until all of the wine has almost disappeared.
  11. Now you need to slowly stir in the hot vegetable stock a ladle full at a time.
  12. Stir continually for at least the first two ladles, making sure almost all of the stock has been incorporated each time.
  13. Heat 50g of butter in a separate frying pan and add in the mushrooms and fry until soft over a medium heat.
  14. Then increase the heat under the mushrooms and add in the balsamic vinegar and reduce completely.
  15. When the rice is cooked stir in the mushrooms.
  16. Finally, add the Parmesan cheese and the last 25g of butter and cover with a lid and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
  17. If you have reserved some slices of leek you can sear them off in the mushroom pan whilst the risotto is resting.


The best way to season this recipe is to add salt to taste to the stock.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 764Total Fat: 57gSaturated Fat: 35gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 149mgSodium: 1586mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 3gSugar: 10gProtein: 11g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!


Thursday 3rd of November 2016

Just a heads up... in the ingredients list there is no mention of adding white wine, but in the method you do. So what is the quantity of wine needed?

Brian Jones

Friday 4th of November 2016

Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention, I have updated the recipe to include the wine, it is 125ml :)


Wednesday 2nd of March 2016

love this , pinning!

Brian Jones

Thursday 3rd of March 2016

I hope you enjoy Farida :)


Saturday 27th of February 2016

I've always been scared of making risotto, but this looks too good to pass up.

Brian Jones

Sunday 28th of February 2016

I think a lot of people feel the same way but it really is a very simple dish to make you just have to stand there and stir, but a glass of wine and some music and off you go :D

Mary (The Godmother @ Goodie Godmother)

Thursday 25th of February 2016

Dump and go risotto isn't risotto, and the best risotto is always cooked with a glass of wine in hand. ;) This recipe looks phenomenal!

Brian Jones

Sunday 28th of February 2016

Thanks Mary, I am definitely from the school of 'Cooking should be done with a glass of wine' ;)

Byron Thomas

Thursday 25th of February 2016

Wow - Brian, this dish looks wonderful - and it's vegetarian!!!!!!!! :) I've just recently discovered a love for mushrooms, and believe it or not, I've only cooked with leeks twice in my life. As for fortnight - thanks for clearing that up. :) There's been times when I've seen differences in language in your writing, but luckily, I was raised in Newfoundland, which was highly influenced by the British. Some of the European influence remains steadfast today in our culture, especially in terms of language and slang.

Brian Jones

Sunday 28th of February 2016

Tehee, cheers Byron, I guess I cook a lot of vegetarian food but don't usually think about it as being 'Veggie' just tasty, although at this time of year when or pantry is diminished I definitely cook and eat a lot more protein. I love reading through other bloggers stories and I think the free flowing and differing language plays a huge part of that, it seems to come across much more in a blog than a commercial website. I am endless fascinated by the way that the English language varies, I am from the Midlands in the UK and my wife from the North and when her Mother comes to visit my wifes accent changes dramatically and I often need her to translate for a couple of days :D

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