I was surfing the net on NY Times' dining section and came across a wonderful article
about an all vegetarian restaurant La Zucca Magica
in Nice, France. Aside from drooling while reading about stuffed squash and sage fritatta
, I smiled at the link to a video blog from Mark Bittman's
"how-to" make swiss
chard stuffed with last night's risotto. The NY Times was also nice enough to publish the full recipe here
I loved the sound of risotto balls wrapped in chard leaves and baked for a while. But I also hate the color of chard after it has been cooked for a long time (it turns into vegetable rot green/brown -- eeew!). So I modified this recipe a bit. Instead of baking the items in the oven, I just made everything fresh on the spot and served them as-is. I also heated extra broth to serve the risotto balls in, and added some sauteed tomatoes for garnish. It was simply delightful and I will definitely make this recipe again!
If you are going to make this recipe, I recommend watching Mark Bittman's little demonstration. It is quick and to the point and funny of course. For extra fun, I would probably add fresh fava beans or English peas to the risotto.
Here is the NY Times recipe with some modification/add-ins (note that this recipe was taken from here, and originally appeared in print on August 6, 2008 in section F3):
- 6 cups vegetable broth, more if needed (keep this broth in a pot on the stove at a simmer -- it should be added to the risotto while piping hot)
- 1 cup arborio
- Large pinch of saffron
- 2 lemons, zested
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
, more for garnish
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 big chard leaves
- 1/2 pound mozzarella cheese
- Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
1. In a large cast iron
pan, drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add rice and quickly saute. As rice heats, add one ladle full of vegetable broth and stir rice around, letting the rice absorb the liquid. Continue doing this in stages using about 3 cups total, until rice is tender. For more detail, go to my blog about making risotto
2. Dissolve saffron in juice of one lemon. Add to rice, along with butter, Parmesan, zest of one lemon, salt and pepper to taste. Allow rice to cool a bit. Recipe can be made up to an hour in advance at this point, but do not refrigerate rice. At this point, add fresh fava beans or English peas.
3. Poach chard leaves in about 2 cups remaining broth for about 30 seconds. Take out, drain, and cut out the hardest part of central stem. Reserve cooking broth to serve risotto balls.
4. Serve balls topped with a little more broth, more lemon zest, Parmesan and olive oil.
Labels: risotto, swiss chard