Oh goodness! The vibrant colour of the bitter leaves of radicchio! I love them in my kitchen, but they are not the cheapest of vegetables to buy so they are not a weekly visitor. However, radicchio is so versatile, and incredibly good.
Today we make a risotto with this glorious vegetable. It is added at the beginning of the cooking process, and thus becomes very tender during the 20 mins of stirring that makes a risotto.
Do be careful about the rice that you use for risotto. You will get the best results using a risotto rice. You can read more about that here. My favourite at the moment, and the one that I used for this dish, is Carnaroli.
Try other risottos too – Brussels Sprouts Risotto with Blue Cheese, So Easy Tomato Risotto, Beetroot Risotto, Caramelised Pumpkin Risotto, Mushroom Risotto, and Asparagus Risotto are some of our favourites. You can see how to make a basic risotto here.
Radical Radicchio | Radicchio Risotto | Risotto al Radicchio
serves 6 people
75 g butter
2 Tblspn olive oil
1 white onion, chopped
500g radicchio, sliced into 5mm wide slices (1 – 2 radicchio, depending on size)
2 cups risotto rice
0.5 cup red or white wine
1.5 l water or vegetable stock
4 Tblspn freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, or other Parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra 20 – 40 g butter (optional)
Melt the 75g butter with the olive oil and saute the onion until golden. Add the sliced radicchio and toss to coat.
Turn up the heat and add the rice, half a cup at a time, and toss to coat, allowing the rice to begin to crackle.
Add the wine and allow to evaporate, stirring all the time. Season with a little salt (remember the cheese will add salt too.)
Now begin adding a ladleful of the stock at a time, and stir until it is absorbed and incorporated. Continue adding stock, a ladle at a time, stirring continuously for 18 minutes.
Taste the rice. If it is still hard and chalky, continue adding stock and cooking for another 2 minutes. By this time the rice will be al dente.
Leave the risotto with a slightly runny consistency. Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese, and add the extra butter if desired.
Add pepper, and check the salt, then serve.
recipe notes and alternatives
Leave out the wine if you wish, but it does add to the flavour.
The radicchio does melt into the risotto, as you can see, and it loses its colour, but it retains some bite and adds texture to the dish. This risotto is reddish in colour as I used red wine.