Monday, September 22, 2008

Cavolo Nero Risotto (Black Kale Risotto)

Kale Risotto
Originally uploaded by Lisa Fagg
What! O, what - to do with cavolo nero? These organic vegetables boxes; they do try us! Okay, so today, Steve suggested this - and we also got to use some leeks from LAST week... 

Risotto With Tuscan Kale 


3 1/2 cups low-sodium fat-free chicken broth
3 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 lb Tuscan kale (also called cavolo nero or lacinato kale)
1 1/4 cups finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (10 oz)
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (3/4 oz)


Bring broth and water to a boil with 3/4 teaspoon sea salt in a 3- to 4-quart saucepan. Meanwhile, cut stems and center ribs from kale and discard.

Stir kale into broth in batches and simmer (all of kale), stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer kale with tongs to a large sieve set over a bowl and gently press on greens to extract more liquid. Add liquid in bowl to simmering broth and keep at a bare simmer, covered. Chop kale.

Cook onion in oil and 1 tablespoon butter with remaining 1/4 teaspoon sea salt in a wide 4-quart heavy pot, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to moderate, then add garlic and cook, uncovered, stirring, 1 minute. Add rice and cook, stirring, 1 - 2 minutes.

Add wine and simmer briskly, stirring constantly, until absorbed. Stir in 1/2 cup simmering broth and simmer briskly, stirring constantly, until broth is absorbed. Continue simmering and adding broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding next, until rice is creamy-looking but still al dente (it should be the consistency of thick soup), 17 to 18 minutes. (There will be leftover broth.)

Stir in kale, cheese, and remaining tablespoon butter and cook, stirring, until heated through and butter is incorporated, about 1 minute. Season risotto with sea salt and pepper and, if desired, thin with some of remaining broth.

It was a fine risotto - we used this recipe (from the web - Gourmet magazine - Sept, 2002) and modified it by adding 1 sliced leek, after the onion had softened,  Later on we pure├ęd a portion of the kale after softening it and adding it to the risotto after it had softened a bit. That was a good idea as it prevented the risotto from becoming overwhelmed by the leafy kale and added colour to the dish, in general. The chopped kale and the rice were both 'al dente'. It was oh-so-very flavourful - and the flavours balanced very well. We had it with a salad of lettuce, radiccho and red onion.

Yum... E A T !!!
xxx L.


Anonymous said...

Oh yum. That looks really good!

Cooking Fool said...


Unknown said...

I just made this, with the addition of the leek and minced kale as described at the end. Absolutely delicious and I will make it again!