Tuesday, February 8

Make Escarole and Parmesan Risotto Before You Fly

escarole and parmesan risotto

Before I leave my house for a trip, I have to use up all of the food in my refrigerator. If I don't, I'll be wracked with guilt, or worse. Like the time I had a full-blown panic attack somewhere in the blue skies over Arizona because I had realized that I had forgotten to use up the last half of a head of radicchio.

So prior to leaving for New Orleans recently, I made sure to use up all of the produce, meat and dairy in my fridge well before I even boarded the plane in San Diego. That's how I ended up making this Escarole and Parmesan Risotto.

The night before we left, I opened my crisper drawer to find a lonely head of escarole. Since I didn't have any cannelini beans, I knew escarole and beans was out, so I did what any good Italian would do and carbed up with risotto.

Whether you love making risotto or become short of breath at the mere thought of all that stirring, you might like to check out my NPR article, "Taking The Risk Out Of Risotto." I show you how to make perfect risotto every time without constantly stirring. I also share  recipes for Autumn Risotto with Apples, Pancetta, and Sage, Risotto with Broccoli Rabe and Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Pumpkin Pie Risotto with Candied Pecans.

Oh, and you might like to know that my trip to New Orleans was turbulence-free.

Escarole and Parmesan Risotto
Makes 4 servings
Printable recipe.

3 1/2 cups regular or low sodium vegetable broth
2 teaspoons butter, plus 1 tablespoon
2 teaspoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 shallot, diced
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
4-5 packed cups escarole, thinly sliced, divided
The zest and juice of 1/2 of a medium lemon
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring broth to a simmer.

2. For the risotto, heat 2 teaspoons butter and 2 teaspoons olive oil in a wide, shallow, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add diced shallot and saute 3 minutes, or until tender and translucent. Add the rice and toast for 1 to 2 minutes, or until slightly translucent. Add the wine and stir until it has evaporated. Add 3 cups escarole and a couple of pinches of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir well. Cook the risotto at a slow simmer, adding heated broth a half-cup at a time. Stir occasionally, making sure the risotto absorbs the liquid before adding more. Use slightly more or less broth as needed. Continue cooking in this manner for 18 to 20 minutes. Near the end of the cooking process, stir in the remaining escarole and lemon zest and juice; season with more salt and black pepper. Taste the risotto — it should be creamy and thick. It's best al dente, which means it should be fully cooked, yet still retain some firmness when you chew it.

3. When the risotto is cooked, turn off heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of butter and 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve risotto on warm plates and sprinkle with extra grated cheese and, if desired, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve immediately.

Here are more delicious risotto recipes you might enjoy:
Lobster Risotto recipe from Food Blogga
Winter Risotto recipe from Proud Italian Cook
Risotto with Swiss Chard recipe from The Way the Cookie Crumbles
Butternut Squash Risotto with Seared Scallops recipe from gourmet traveller
Sweet Potato and Spinach Risotto recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod


Joanne said...

Risotto is one of my favorite ways to use up any odds and ends that I have lurking about my refrigerator...whether I'm going away for a trip or it's just the end of the week and I am in dire need of a trip to the store. Who knew escarole and parm would turn out so well!

The Food Hunter said...

great article on NPR and great risotto recipe.

Jenny said...

I just love risotto, it has endless possibilities! My favorite is to top it off with a couple of seared scallops. This is a great idea to clean out the fridge, I may have to throw one together later this week.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I've ever bought escarole. Does it look like green leaf lettuce? I'll have to look for it now.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

That is one thing I always like to do when I have vegetables I don't know what to do with - I make them into risotto. There are few dishes out there that allow such a perfect creative outlet.

Rosemary said...

A wonderful save! It's the waste-not-want-not Italian in you, isn't it? Your NPR piece on risotto is great . . . like all of them.

The Teacher Cooks said...

I have really got to try your recipe for risotto. I have not made it because of all the stirring and constant watch, but yours looks like a winner!

Peabody said...

A good way to get my greens in. :)

Virginia Willis said...

This looks so warm and comforting. I think I may need to do this with the sad and shaggy head of Romaine in my fridge, tonight! Thanks for sharing. Yum. Best VA

Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking said...

Oh my goodness, Susan, this looks just incredible! So decadent and delicious. I love risotto but have never thought to add escarole... I'll have to give this a try soon. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful site- can't wait to spend more time here!

Elizabeth and Jared said...

This looks really yummy. Thanks for the recipe!

ChichaJo said...

Thanks for sharing your risotto tips! I am going to go over them in detail!

This looks delicious...I know what you mean about making sure to finish everything before a trip!

Anonymous said...

this would be saporito with any number of greens

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The Teacher Cooks said...

I love your risotto recipes!

A Busy Nest said...

I feel the same way about wasting food. This looks very tasty.

Saee Koranne-Khandekar said...

Looks perfectly comforting!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

joanne-It does have the "kitchen sink" capacity.


jenny-Ooh, love the idea of seared scallops!

anonymous-Yes, it looks like a cross between green leaf and butter lettuce. It's light green and rather round with a creamy white center.

sdoc-It's an easy way to get more veggies in your diet.

rosemary-We never, ever threw away food in our house. :)

teachercooks-Do it! Do it!

peabody-Easy peasy.

virginia-Thanks so much! Romaine isn't as flavorful, but if you add more cheese and olive oil, it should be good to go!

georgia-Thank you kindly!

newlyweds-I look forward to getting to know you both!

e&j-You're welcome!

joey-You too? I'm compulsive about it!


georgette-Thank you. I look forward to getting to know you!

teachercooks-Thank you!

busybee-Good to hear!
saee-It is!

Eve Fox said...

looks delic! And I am the exact same way before I leave for a trip.

John said...

Parmesan Risotto with cheese. It's so amazing. Wow!