Radicchio and Pea, Black and White Rice Risotto


The first apartment Noah and I lived in was a studio that got no sunlight. It only had a mini-fridge. I loved that apartment despite the fact that it was totally dark 24 hours a day and even though the mini-fridge posed a serious challenge to my ice cream consumption. (Nothing that couldn’t be overcome through the combined powers of a bodega around the corner and a willingness to let half a pint of ice cream melt, thank goodness.)

Our current apartment–which we moved into a mere year and a half after leaving that first place–has 4 1/2 rooms. Our kitchen not only has a full size fridge it also has a dishwasher. The kitchen has 3 drawers and 2 counter tops as opposed to none of either. Sometimes I feel like I have whiplash from how quickly our amount of space as multiplied.

Our new kitchen is airy and beautiful, but given that I’ve spent all of fifteen nights in New Haven since we moved it doesn’t really feel like home yet. Perhaps as a result I’ve been cooking constantly when I get a few days in New Haven. I have pickled peppers, confit-ed tomatoes, toasted granola, and baked ginger bread, in an attempt to make our airy kitchen a little bit cozier and the apartment feel like home. This week, I decided that standing over a pot of steaming broth and rice was the next step in the home-making process. There’s something about making risotto–maybe the fact that you need to have a pot of simmering broth going the whole time, maybe the methodical stirring–that I find comforting.

This risotto is a twist on one I made often in that first apartment. It’s a risotto of peas and radicchio–a perfect sweet and bitter combination. It’s something that you can decide to make last minute by picking up only one extra ingredient if you happen to have rice, Parmesan, and peas on hand, as I usually try to do. This time, inspired by this recent Recipes for Health article for black and white risotto, I decided to make it using black and white rice. The result was less heavy but no less cozy. As an added bonus the black rice and radicchio made the whole thing a rich purple color.

Radicchio and Pea, Black and White Rice Risotto: 

– 1 cup forbidden rice

– 2/3 cup arborio rice

– 1 cup Parmesan cheese

– 1 head of radicchio

– 1 cup frozen peas

– 1/2 onion

– 2 cloves garlic

– 1/2 lemon

– 1/2 cup white wine

– About 6 cups chicken stock

– 2 tablespoons olive oil

– Salt and pepper to taste

* Start by making the forbidden rice. Combine rice with 2 cups of water and bring to boil. Reduce heat as low as possible and leave covered for 30 minutes. At thirty minutes, if the water is fully absorbed, turn heat off and put dish towel under lid. (If the water is not completely absorbed give it another few minutes before putting towel under lid.) Let sit for another 10-15 minutes. Stir in salt to taste, but remember you are adding a lot more ingredients, some of them salty eventually. Set aside.

* Bring stock to a boil.

*Chop onion and radicchio into small pieces; mince garlic.

* In another deep pot heat oil and then add onion and garlic. Cook until onion just begins to brown. Stir in arborio rice and cook until the grains are separate and translucent.

* Add wine and stir until absorbed.

* Add 1/2 cup broth, stir until mostly absorbed. Continue adding cups of broth and stirring until absorbed until rice is soft but still chewy and broth is absorbed. You may have left over broth.

* Stir in peas.

* Stir in black rice and add Parmesan, juice of half a lemon, and another half cup of broth. Stir until liquid is absorbed.

* Stir in radicchio.

* Add salt and pepper to taste.

* Serve with more Parmesan for grating.


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