Spring Greens Risotto

Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser Yield:  4 servings
Prep Time:  15 minutes Cook Time:  50 minutes

Spring Greens Risotto

Springtime brings many vegetable joys. The first leafy greens that break through the soil are often tender and sweet. Handfuls of new baby greens are folded into this creamy risotto, resulting in a creamy and elegant main course or side dish.

Ingredients

3 cups Roasted Vegetable Stock or best-quality store-bought low-sodium vegetable broth, warmed

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ medium Vidalia onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1 cup arborio or carnaroli rice

2 cups dry white wine

10½ cups mixed spring baby greens (baby spinach, baby kale, etc.), roughly chopped

¾ stick (⅜ cup/85 grams/3 ounces/6 tablespoons) unsalted butter

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (see Kitchen Tips)

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Keep the vegetable broth warm in a saucepan set over low heat.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan set over medium-high until it shimmers. Add the onion and cook, stirring once or twice, for 8 to 10 minutes, until onions begin to brown and caramelize.
  3. Add the rice to the saucepan with the oil, and stir to coat.
  4. Add 1/2 cup of the wine and stir constantly until it is nearly absorbed into the rice. Add the remaining wine, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each is nearly absorbed, before adding the next half-cup.
  5. Once all of the wine is absorbed, add 1 cup of the warm broth, stirring constantly until it is nearly absorbed into the rice. Add the remaining broth, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly until it is nearly absorbed, before the next cup. When all of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender but still firm to the bite, stir in the greens.
  6. When greens have wilted, add the butter and half the cheese and stir until melted and thoroughly incorporated. Check the rice. Each grain should have a firm center, and the risotto should be slightly creamy. If needed, add more water or broth and stir to loosen up the risotto. Stir in the thyme, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir to incorporate, garnish with the remaining cheese, and serve immediately.

Kitchen Tips

To remove the leaves from a sprig of fresh thyme, hold the sprig (or a few) at the top with one hand, and with the other hand, grasp the stem with your thumb and forefinger and gently slide your fingers down the stem. The leaves will be pushed against the direction they grow in, and will come off easily.

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