Risotto with radicchio (tuscan)

Yield: 4 Servings

Measure Ingredient
5 cups Vegetable broth; plus
1 cup Vegetable broth; as needed
4 tablespoons Extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium Onion; finely chopped
1½ cup Arborio rice
1 pounds Radicchio or 1-large; *see note
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1. Wash, dry, core and julienne the radicchio. Heat the broth in a saucepan and adjust the heat to keep it simmering.

2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-gauge pot. Add the onion and saute over low heat until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir until all the kernels are well coated.

3. Add the wine or beer and stir until the rice absorbs all the liquid.

4. Begin adding broth to the rice pot, a few ladles at a time, stirring occasionally and adding additional broth only when the previous liquid has been almost completely absorbed. The heat should be low and the rice gently simmering.

5. Add ¾ of the radicchio at the halfway mark (after the rice has been cooking for about 10 minutes and stir to blend. Continue adding broth until the rice is tender and there is still enough broth to produce a slightly runny consistency. You may not need to use the extra broth, or all the broth.

6. Season with salt and pepper, add the cheese and remaining radicchio.

Stir until all ingredients are well blended, and serve immediately in warm bowls.

SERVES 4, takes about 60 minutes maximum; there's moderate difficulty.

mc-PER SERVING 30% cff: 693cals; 23g fat VARIATIONS: In place of radicchio, try using arugula, mustard greens, watercress, dandelions, kale, or chard, or a combination. Use young, tender leaves for julienne.

MAKE AHEAD: not advsided. Although restaurants generally cook risotto to the halfway point and finish it to order, I feel that the flavor is definitely affected. However, risotto is quite good reheated in a double boiler. But not too long because the rice will continue to absorb -- so add a little heated liquid as needed.

~ ----------

RADICCHIO (Cichorium intybus) is a member of the sunflower family and native to Italy. There are 3 types. VERONA has short, ruby-red leaves and white ribs and veins; CASTELFRANCO has variegated leaves shaped like the red Verona but white or pale green speckled with deep red spots; and TREVISO has slender dark leaves, 3 to 6 inches long attached to a woody root.

Verona is the most pungent of the three varieties and is recommended for this recipe; but if Treviso is all you can find, you might want to add a little extra salt or grated Parmesan to spice up the flavor.

To Buy: Season: May through November. Select only firm, brightly colored heads with no drying or browning at leaf's edge.

To Prepare: Separate the leaves (unless grilling) and wash under several changes of water. Proceed as with other leafy vegetables.

>"Risotto con Radicchio," from SOLO VERDURA, by Anne Bianchi (Ecco, 1997).

>Edited by Pat Hanneman 3/98

Notes: The following risotto is both delicious and colorful, its color resulting from the julienned ribbons of radicchio added at the last minute.

I have also suggested using pale ale as a substitute for white wine. The idea was first suggested to me by Slgnora Adua Manfredi of Piano di Mommio, and I have used it often as a delicious change of pace.-AB Recipe by: SOLO VERDURA, by Anne Bianchi Posted to MC-Recipe Digest by KitPATh <phannema@...> on Mar 26, 1998

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