This is a dish that is just full of earthy flavors from the kale and mushrooms. The garlic is cooked slowly with the risotto and tastes almost like you roasted it. It's hearty and warming, just the thing in front of a fireplace, if you ask me.
A note on the kale, we harvest kale from our garden all summer then blanch and freeze it to use in winter soups and stews. If you are using fresh kale from the store blanch it for a minute before using it in this recipe otherwise it won't be very tender. Kale is such a great winter vegetable and one of those that help keep you free of flus and colds.
Kale and Mushroom Risotto
1 T olive oil, divided
1 leek, sliced and cleaned, white and light green parts only
10 baby bella mushrooms, roughly chopped
4 oz kale, blanched and chopped, thick stalks removed
4 c chicken stock (use vegetable broth for a vegetarian version)
1/2 T unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 c arborio rice
1/2 c sherry
2 T grated Parmesan
Put 1/2 T olive oil in a small skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the leek and sauté for one minute. Add the mushrooms, lightly salt and sauté another minute. Add the kale and sauté until the mushrooms are cooked and the kale is tender. Set aside.
Put the chicken stock in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Keep simmer during the cooking process.
In another saucepan heat the remaining 1/2 T olive oil and 1/2 T salt over medium heat. Add the garlic and rice. Sauté until the rice is covered with the oil and butter. Add the sherry. Cook while stirring until the sherry is completely absorbed. Add the stock 1/2 cup at a time, do not add more until the previous addition has been absorbed. You'll want to stir it a lot, but you don't have to sir it constantly. When you have about 1/2 cup of the stock left the rice should be tender and creamy with just the slightest bite to the center (if your's isn't, you may need to use a little more stock or even some water will work). Stir in the last of the stock, the cheese and the mushroom kale mixture. Season with salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper. Heat everything through. Serve
Makes 2 hearty servings.
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