foodie mcfooderson

a home cook with notions & an appetite

red pepper, sausage, and chard risotto

We had some beautiful rainbow chard that came with the CSA the other week, but we wanted to do more than just saute it.  I wanted it to be part of a meal.

Well, the kitchn to the rescue and their recipe for Red Pepper, Sausage and Chard Risotto.  Not only is this a chard recipe, but it will allow me to use up two leftover Italian chicken sausages I bought from Trader Joe’s a while back (they’ve been in the freezer).

According to the kitchn, these ingredients will serve 2 to 4 – trust me when I say it’s definitely more to 4.  This is a rich and filling dish.  I made a few minor changes to the ingredient list (nothing huge):

  • 1/2 lb chard
  • 2 sausage links (about 1/2 lb)
  • 1 lg onion, diced
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper (it was from Trader Joe’s…in a jar!)
  • 2 tsp Piment d’Espelette
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper

First things first, I removed the sausage from the casing and browned it:

Full disclosure: I did a bit of multi-tasking here and there will be a pan switch.  There was a bit of browning that went beyond browning, when I left some bits behind in the pan.  Now you know.  FYI, extra crusty pan is cleanable by boiling water and a small (SMALL) amount of baking soda for a minute or two on the stove. 

I’ve chopped up onion and the roasted bell pepper already.  No photos of a diced onion or chopped and drained roasted pepper.  I promise that they’re lovely.  The onion is getting a bit of a head start in a nice pan (the sausage is draining and will be set aside in a bowl).

With the chard, the first prep is just on the stems.  Sadly, corgi is denied all but a few of the tiniest end pieces.  Instead, The stems are cut out and chopped into small pieces so they can join the onions in the pan.

After the chard joins the onions, they’re all cooked until softened.  The roasted red bell pepper and spices and even the garlic joined the party towards the end.  Once everything was nice and heated through, the vegetables joined the sausage in that lovey bowl I’d set aside.  They just get to hang out and wait.

Wait while the risotto cooks.  This is about getting a cup of rice to absorb nearly 6 cups of liquid.  There’s a bit of wine and olive oil at the beginning of the process, but we all know that it’s about patience.  And to answer the question posed in their recipe – I’m a stirrer, all the way:

There is time between stirring (it isn’t constant) to get some final preparation done.  Grating a full cup of cheese.  I would love to make this sound exciting, but how do we really make rubbing a hunk of cheese back and forth over the plane grater sound exciting?  We don’t.

I do take the time to roll the leaves and slice the chard – that’s right, chiffonade!  I’m all about the fancy-pants style.  I will admit this is one of those cuts that makes me feel chef-like.  For a second.  Until I realize some poor culinary school graduate probably spends 8 hours a day doing basil chiffonades and nothing else while his dream of being the next big superstar celebrity chef turns into some desperation move like filling out an application to be on Hell’s Kitchen.  I digress…

See this?  It’s the last bit of broth being mixed into the rice.  This is one of those moments where it can seem like a lot, but at this point the rice is drinking up liquid crazy fast.  I really only have so much time to add the final touches to the finished dish.  This means making sure that I’ve got all my ingredient ducks in a row.

It goes down like this – chard in and cooks for a few minutes while just a bit of broth is left.  Then in goes the cheese until it’s nice and melty.  Finally, the reserved veggies and sausage go in and are heated through:

After this, plate and enjoy.  Enjoy being the key word.  This is a keeper.  The kind where the dog never manages to get any of the leftovers because they’re that good.

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This entry was posted on July 28, 2011 by in csa and tagged , , , , .

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