Risotto is a versatile way to use up leftover meats and veggies.
• 1 bunch Swiss chard, leaves separated from stems, stems reserved
• 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
• 1 cup finely chopped onions or 1 leek, halved lengthwise, chopped and washed
• 2 tablespoons minced shallots
• 2 slices thick bacon, pancetta or prosciutto cut into lardons (optional; if omitting, add more extra virgin olive oil)
• 2-1⁄2 cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice
• 1⁄2 cup dry white wine
• 6-1⁄2 cups hot chicken stock (or low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable stock), divided
• 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
• 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, cut into bits
• 1⁄2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano, plus more for serving
• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Cut reserved Swiss chard stems crosswise into 1⁄4-inch pieces. Set aside. Cut greens into 1⁄2-inch ribbons. Set aside.
2. In a heavy, wide, 3- to 4-quart casserole dish or pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook onions, shallots, pork lardons (if using) and chard stems together until golden, stirring often, about 8 minutes.
3. Add rice and stir to coat with oil. Toast rice until edges become translucent, 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Pour in wine and stir well until evaporated.
5. Add 1⁄2 cup of the hot stock and salt. Stir, then add chard greens. Cook, stirring constantly, until all the stock has been absorbed.
6. Continue to add hot stock in small batches—just enough to completely moisten rice—and cook until each successive batch has been absorbed. Stir constantly, adjusting heat so rice is simmering gently, until rice is creamy but al dente, 16 to 20 minutes.
7. Remove from heat, beat in butter until melted, then cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, topping each serving with grated cheese to taste. Serves 4 to 6.
Learn more about seasonal, Italian cooking in Chef’s Delight in Kansas City.