Neven's Leek & Blue Cheese Risotto with Caramelised Walnuts and Celery & Pear Salad.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 10g Butter
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 large leak, washed and thinly sliced
  • 225g/8oz risotto rice (Arborio)
  • 120ml white wine
  • 2 pt. vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp mascarpone cheese
  • 50-60g Blue Cheese
  • 1 tsp basil, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chives, finely chopped

Caramelised Walnuts

  • 10g butter
  • ½ tsp honey or maple syrup
  • 100g walnuts

For The Salad

  • 1 pear, quartered and core removed
  • 1 celery stick, sliced at an angle
  • Caramelised Walnuts
  • 100g Blue Cheese
  • Frisee & Rocket Salad Leaves
  • Grilled Leaks
  • Crispy Serrano Ham
  • Micro Salad leaves, for garnish


For The Risotto:

  1. Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan and fry the onion, garlic, leeks over a low heat for 1-2 minutes until softened but not coloured.
  2. Meanwhile, add the rice to the vegetables and stir for 1 minute until the grains are coated in the oil, butter and vegetables.
  3. Deglaze the pan with the white wine. Bring to the boil and allow to reduce to a simmer.
  4. Slowly add the vegetable stock to the rice in stages, stirring continuously until it has been absorbed and the rice grains are cooked (approx. 15-18 minutes).
  5. Once the risotto is cooked, add in the mascarpone cheese and the blue cheese and mix through. Add in the herbs and stir through. Season with salt and pepper if required but be careful as the blue cheese can be quite salty.

For The Caramelised Walnuts:

  1. In a small pan, on medium heat, place the butter and honey/maple syrup and stir to combine.
  2. Add the walnuts and stir to coat.
  3. Allow to caramelised for 3-4 minutes, tossing occasionally.

For The Salad:

  1. Thinly slice the pear and place overlapping on a plate, followed by the celery slices and caramelised walnuts. Arrange small chunks of blue cheese around the plate.
  2. Dress the frisee salad leaves and rocket with drizzle of olive oil and some balsamic vinegar, mix well. Scatter over the pear and blue cheese.
  3. To crisp the serrano ham, place the sheet of serrano ham between two sheets of parchment paper, on a baking tray followed by a tray on top to compress. Place in the oven at 190⁰C for 3-4 minutes to crisp.
  4. To serve, spoon the risotto onto the plate followed by the grilled leaks and crispy serrano ham. Garnish with micro leaves