Thursday, April 28, 2011

A New Kind Of Risotto

Though I didn't quite make it her way, dinner tonight was another idea from Martha. The Living version folded sautéed Swiss chard and cooked lentils into a risotto topped with fresh radicchio.. I had just harvested winter's last collard greens from our garden so I substituted that more bitter green and used a convenient package of Trader Joe's precooked black lentils I happened to have in the fridge. Pretty much following Martha's lead I sautéed the greens in olive oil for about 4 minutes and set them aside. In a separate pan I heated more olive oil and added in two halved and thinly sliced leeks, 1 large chopped shallot, and 3 minced cloves of garlic. After about 3 minutes, in went 1 1/4 cup arborio rice and 6 sprigs of fresh thyme. I sautéed the rice until it was a bit translucent and had picked up the oil from the pan and added in about 1/2 cup of white wine. When the wine had cooked off I seasoned the rice and started to add chicken broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring and letting the rice soften as the liquid cooked away. When the rice was nearly cooked through I added in the green and the lentils and the last of the chicken broth (I used about 5 cups total). Just before serving I mixed in -- departing from martha's more streamlined version -- some soft, tangy delicious Delice de Bourgogne washed-rind cheese for a creamy texture and plated James' risotto topped with a shower of fresh radicchio, a drizzle of olive oil, and a dusting of parmesan cheese.

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