Risotto with Swiss Chard
Swiss chard is known as a powerhouse of nutrition. Like spinach, it enhances the look of rice dishes with its ribbons of green. This risotto is flavored with fresh herbs, which heighten the delicate sweetness of the chard.
3/4 pound Swiss chard
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 cups Arborio rice
6 cups soup stock
2 tablespoons dry white wine
Freshly ground pepper
Serves 4 to 6
Wash the swish card. Discard the stems and cut the leaves into strips. Place in a large pot, cover tigtly with a lid, and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until the leaves have cooked down and are tender. You don’t need oil. Remove from the heat, drain in a colander, and set aside.
Heat the oil in a medium-size pot. Add the garlic, onoins, and herbs. Cook over high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently. When the onions begin to look transparent, stir in the rice. (Do not rinse the rice beforehand. Its starch is essential for creaminess.) Cook the rice for a couple of minutes, then stir in the Swiss chard. Continue cooking over high heat for another 2 minutes.
In the meantime, bring the soup stock to a simmer. Add 2 cups of stock to the rice or enough to just cover it, reduce the heat, and let it simmer gently, stirring every once in a while. When the broth has become absorbed by the rice, add more stock to just cover. Again, let this simmer gently until it has become absorbed by the rice. Continue this process for 15 minutes, until the rice is al dente and the risotto is creamy.
Five minutes before the risotto is done, stir in the white wine. Season to taste, and continue to cook 2 or 3 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with freshly grated Paremsan cheese on the side.
Adapted from A Taste of Heaven and Earth, by Bettina Vitell (HarperCollins, 1993).