2018 seems to be the year of risotto in my kitchen. Risotto is a phase we all go through, and I'm glad I'm going through mine now. I never had risotto frequently, but my soon-to-be sister-in-law made a lemon risotto over Christmas, and that was it for me. I recreated her recipe and tried my hand at a few others (zucchini and parmesan risotto was a good one), but my favorite so far has been a very millennial-friendly kale risotto. It's easy to turn the recipe vegan (just take out the butter) and also great to go against tradition (sorry Rory!) and serve as a side.
(Serves 2 as a main dish, 3-4 as a side)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter (if making vegan, leave out and add more olive oil)
1 sliced lemon
1 clove of garlic
1 cup/175 g risotto or arborio rice (I use Carnaroli grains)*
1/3 cup/ 75 mL white wine (or a little more if you wish)
2 1/2 cups/600 mL vegetable broth
a bunch of kale (I didn't measure exactly, so just use what seems right to you)
juice of half lemon
Heat the oil (and optional butter) over medium heat in a pot. Sear the lemon on each side for one to two minutes. Remove from the lemon slices from the pot.
Add the minced garlic and rice. Toast until fragrant, about three minutes, stirring from time to time. Add the white wine and stir until evaporated.
Stir in vegetable broth and lemon juice and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Most recipes will tell you to gradually stir in your broth, but with this recipe, I add it all at once to make sure the kale is cooked. Add however much kale you want to add, along with the lemon juice. Stir frequently until rice is tender and creamy.
Serve with lemon slices, either as a main dish or as a side. I've done both and enjoyed serving it with chicken that I sautéed with some more lemon slices.
* Tip from our Resident Chef**: If you only have access to normal rice, then you can “crack it up” by pulsing it a few times in a blender. This helps release the starch that gives the risotto its creaminess.
** Raquel’s brother