- 3 leeks
- 2 garlic cloves
- A handful of thyme, leaves only
- 50g butter
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 100g mature cheddar cheese
- 200g risotto rice
- A few handfuls of baby leaf spinach
- 1 lemon
- 2 eggs
Prep: 15 mins | Cook: 30 mins
1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Trim the roots and any woody greens off the leeks. Halve the leeks lengthways and rinse out any grit. Chop into 1cm-thick slices. Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves. Pick the thyme leaves off their woody stems.
2. Add half the butter to a large, ovenproof pan and melt over a medium heat. Pour in a small splash of olive oil and slide in the leeks, garlic and thyme. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 10 mins, stirring occasionally, till the leeks have softed.
3. Meanwhile, fill and boil your kettle. Measure out 750ml boiling water in a jug, crumble in the vegetable stock cube and stir to dissolve. Coarsely grate the cheddar.
4. When the leeks in the pan have softened, tip in the risotto rice. Cook and stir for 2 mins. Pour in the stock and stir well. If your pan isn't ovenproof, carefully ladle the risotto mixture into a baking dish. Cover with a lid or foil. Slide into the oven and bake for 20-25 mins, till the rice is soft and has absorbed most of the liquid.
5. While the risotto cooks, fill a pan with hot water and bring it to a simmer.
6. When the risotto is cooked, remove from the oven and stir through a few handfuls of spinach leaves and the grated cheddar. Fold through the remaining butter and squeeze in a little lemon juice. Taste, and add more salt, pepper or lemon juice if you think it needs it. Recover the risotto and set aside while you poach the eggs.
7. Set the heat under the pan of simmering water to medium-low so it’s just bubbling – you only need a few bubbles. Crack 1 egg into a small cup. Carefully slide it into the water (mind your fingers). Repeat with the other egg. Gently cook for 2-3 mins for a runny yolk or 3-4 mins for a more set yolk.
8. Divide the risotto between a 2 warm bowls and top with a poached egg each. Serve straight away.