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swiss chard risotto

March 10, 2010

In the past, I’ve been making risotto with barley instead of rice à la Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks, but I’m out of barley and figured I’d attempt a rice-risotto instead.  I didn’t have arborio, but I do have medium grain sushi rice, which works in a pinch.

  • olive oil
  • 2 shallots, chopped finely
  • 1/2 carrot, minced
  • 1 celery rib, minced
  • 1/2 Cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 Cups arborio, sushi rice, or another medium or short grain rice
  • 1 bouillon/stock cube (I use no salt)
  • about 6 cups water or stock (omit stock cube), heated
  • salt to taste
  • 5-6 large swiss chard leaves, stems discarded, chiffonade cut
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • squeeze of lemon juice (about 1/4 of a lemon)
  • 1/2 Cup of Pecorino Romano or Parmesan, grated

Heat olive oil, add shallots, carrots, and celery.  Sauté until vegetables and bottom of pot begin to brown.  Deglaze with white wine, scraping up tasty brown fond at the bottom.  Add the rice and coat well with the reducing wine.  The rice should take on a slight sheen and the wine should be reduced before you add your first cup or so of water.  I typically just fill my tea kettle and leave it over low heat and glug in about a cup when the rice has absorbed my last addition of water.  If you’re using stock, heat it in a saucepan; I’d advise keeping it covered when you’re not dipping into it because a lot of the moisture will simmer off otherwise.  If you’re using water, add your stock cube with the first cup of liquid.  Stir frequently to distribute the water evenly and to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom.  When the rice has absorbed most of that cup of water, add your next cup.

The heat at this point can be somewhat finicky–it should be hot enough to allow the rice to absorb the hot liquid, but not so hot that the liquid evaporates instead.  You may need to play around with it until you reach a happy place.  Repeat the adding & stirring process until your rice is almost perfectly tender.  At this point, add the chiffonade of chard.  Continue to add liquid as necessary to finish cooking the rice.  When your rice is tender and just a little chewy, remove from heat, stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and cheese.

Garnish with a lemon wedge and sprinkling of finely shredded cheese.

If you have any leftovers, you can make risotto cakes.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 14, 2010 5:55 pm

    Mmmm. Looks good. I grow chard and freeze a lot of chard and am always looking for recipes. I’m going to try your recipe. One suggestion: instead of discarding the stems, put them aside for later use. I use chopped or julienned chard stems in a gratin casserole with gruyere cheese topped with toasted bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. It’s really yummy.

  2. March 16, 2010 7:27 am

    Your idea for the stems sounds delicious. Anything with all the cheese tops my lists!

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