A quick blanch of the kale and leek ensures this dish has a vibrant green colour and locks in the greens water soluble nutrients such as Vitamin C, to help support a healthy immune system. Better still, make sure not to discard the water used to blanch your kale and leeks. This vitamin-rich water can be used in your vegetable stock, and when warmed encourages the starches to come out in your rice to create a more creamier textured risotto.
- 50 gram Kale, tough stalks removed (or use any winter green leaf available)
- 1 medium leek, washed and chopped
- 50 gram parsley, chopped finely (optional)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or ghee
- 1 bunch of spring onion greens washed and finely chopped
- Few sprigs of fresh thyme, woody stems removed
- 1 cup of Arborio rice (no need to wash rice as this removes the starch to make it creamy)
- 100-150 ml white wine
- 750-1000 ml warmed vegetable stock (½ cup reserved for puree)
- Lemon juice to taste
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- 100-150 g freshly and finely grated parmesan
Toasted hazelnuts and/or kale chips to serve (optional but can give the dish crunch)
- Bring a pot of water to the boil, then blanch the kale and leek for 1-2 minutes. The kale should still be bright green, but soft in texture. Drain the water and reserve to use in your vegetable stock. Rinse vegetables with cold water, then set aside to cool.
- Once the greens are cooled, add them to a blender or food processor along with the parsley and 125ml (1/2 cup) of the stock. Blend until a bright green, mostly smooth puree forms. Add more stock here if necessary.
- Place a large pan or Dutch oven over a medium heat and add the oil. Add the spring onions and thyme and cook for about 3 minutes until soft and fragrant.
- Add the rice grains and stir to coat. stirring regularly to avoid it sticking. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the grains start to look a little translucent. You can add a bit of extra oil here if you need it.
- Once the grains are toasted, add the white wine to the pan and allow it to reduce in the pan until nearly dry.
- Add a ladle full of warm stock. Stir gently and allow the stock to be absorbed by the grains. Repeat this process until you have used 750ml of stock, the rice is al dente and you have a creamy, saucy texture.
- Once you've reached you're desired consistency, take the risotto off the heat. Stir in the green puree, followed by the grated parmesan. Taste the risotto then add lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Serve with extra parmesan and pepper, and drizzle with some good quality olive oil (garlic infused olive oil as an option), toasted hazelnuts and/or kale chips.