June 3, 2011

Radish Risotto

I already love it!
Last Saturday we received our first CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) delivery. For the next 20 weeks or so we'll find a cooler full of freshly grown and harvested vegetables and herbs on the back porch every Saturday afternoon. I'm super excited and, although this is tipping my scale in the hippy direction, I love the idea of eating food grown by local farmers that are on our table within days of leaving the ground.

One of the things that makes the CSA quite the adventure is that we never know what we're going to get. This week we find ourselves with a ton of lettuce, some asian greens, mint, rosemary, chives and radishes. The radishes had me a little stumped (another thing I love about the CSA - the challenge!), but while we were killing time in the airport on our way home from vacation we spent some time searching for radish recipes. 

Isn't this produce beautiful!

There's not a lot out there, but this one we found for Romano Risotto with Radishes on Epicurious was delish! I made a few changes, but it was a winner from the beginning.

Radish Risotto

6 cups chicken broth
2 cups hot water
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion finely chopped
2 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup grated Romano cheese
3 Tbs. chopped Radish tops (the green leafy part)

1 Tbs. white wine vinegar
1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. trimmed radishes thinly sliced
2 Tbs. finely chopped chives

While bringing the broth and water to a simmer in a 3-4 quart saucepan, melt butter in a large pan over medium heat until completely melted. Add onion and cook until the onions are soft and smell amazing. Add in the garlic and chopped radish tops and sauté for a few more minutes until your kitchen smells heavenly and the onions are nearly translucent. 

Add the rice and stir to coat.  Toast the rice for about a minute, stirring constantly. Add in the white wine and stir until absorbed into the rice. Add the broth mixture one cup at a time, stirring, until absorbed. Repeat for the rest of the broth mixture. Keep the rice at a strong simmer as you go. When the broth is absorbed and your rice is a pile of steaming, creamy goodness, add the cheese and stir. Let the risotto sit while you mix up the radish topping.

Whisk together the vinegar and oil. Toss radishes and chives in the dressing. Serve risotto topped with the radishes.

P.S. I think everyone should learn how to make a basic risotto. It's probably the best base dish out there. So easy, so fancy looking. I think we're going to see a lot of improvised risotto with weird veggies from the CSA this summer.

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