- 3 leeks
- 2 garlic cloves
- A handful of thyme, leaves only
- 45g butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 750ml boiling water
- 100g cheddar
- 200g risotto rice
- 50g baby leaf spinach
- 1 lemon
- 2 eggs
1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Trim the roots and top 3cm off the leeks. Halve the leeks vertically and rinse out any dirt. Cut the leeks into 1cm thick slices. Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves. Pick the thyme leaves.
2. Add half the butter to a large ovenproof pan and melt over a medium heat. Pour in 1 tsp 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 are soft. Fill and boil the kettle.
3. Meanwhile, measure out 750ml boiling water in a jug, crumble in the vegetable stock cube and stir to dissolve. Grate the cheddar.
4. When the leeks in the pan have softened, tip in the risotto rice. 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. Fill the kettle again and boil it.
5. While the risotto cooks, fill a pan with boiling water and bring it to a simmer.
6. When the risotto is cooked, stir through the spinach leaves and the grated cheddar. Fold through the remaining butter, halve the lemon and squeeze in the juice from 1 half. Pop a lid on the pan 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. Top with a poached egg each. Season with a pinch of salt and a crack of pepper to serve.