Monday, October 23, 2006

Swiss Chard Risotto

This recipe is a little like the Italian Rice and Chard Soup I wrote about a few months except that it requires quite a bit of stirring and is much much creamier than the soup. This risotto tastes just amazing and is worth the effort it takes to make. They key is to cook everything slowly over medium heat so that the flavors really have time to fuse together.

Makes 4 servings
Cooking Time: 45 minutes

- 5 cups veggie or chicken broth
- 4 cups chopped Swiss chard leaves (about 1 bunch)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese + additional for topping
- 1 1/2 cup Arborio rice

Click here for the original preparation. While this method is less labor intensive, I understand that the results you get may not be as creamy. Below, I provide the method I used.

While bringing broth to a simmer, coarsely chop chard. It doesn't have to be perfect because it will wilt as it cooks down. Chop the leaves away from the stems and discard. Once broth comes to a simmer, cover and keep warm. Heat oil in heavy large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add rice and chard and stir until chard begins to wilt, about 3 minutes. Add wine and simmer until absorbed, stirring occasionally, about 2 min (if you don't have wine, skip it). This is where I diverge in the method used.

Add 1 cup broth to risotto and stir continuously until broth is absorbed by risotto. If you pull at the risotto, you shouldn't see liquid running out (about 2-3 minutes). Add broth in half cup increments for about 20 minutes. Start tasting risotto to see if it's losing it's nuttiness. Once risotto is tender, stopping adding liquid and stir in cheese. Add pepper to taste. Don't add salt (the original recipe calls for salt -- I don't know why!). Between the broth and cheese you'll have more than enough.

Serve immediately and top with more cheese if desired.

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