power greens risotto

So we have lots of risotto specific cookbooks as well as several books from our reliable Marcella Hazan written last century, but alas no interesting recipes in any of them with power greens, even just with spinach. So bob decided pwer greens in padella (namely sauteed with garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil) would do the job, and ani volunteered to add some beans, borlotti beans were keeping in the Italian tradition, and we had some on hand. They are these purple speckled white beans, who knows if they taste any better than cannellini beans or not but the name certainly has some cache. bob insisted that all the greens go into the mix, ani was reluctant, too much green for too little arborio rice. But veggies beat rice (carbs!) like scissors beat paper (or whatever, bob never played that game).

So this recipe was born, and immediately appreciated. Another success for the dr bob cooking team, executed by the talented ms_ani. The green to rice reatio works. Try it!


3/4 c arborio rice
1 onion, chopped (red or yellow, we used red)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
olive oil for sauteeing
1 1.5 lb bag of power greens, pre-cooked by steaming in a big pot with a bit of water
a it of good white wine (we used Falinghina, not bad)
veggie or chicken broth cubes/whatever
some red pepper flakes to taste, don't overdo it
1 14oz (400g) can borlotti beans
1  T butter
1/2 c freshly grated parmigiano plus extra to top off each serving
some fresh parsley for garnish, chopped


  1.  Either before or in parallel with the risotto startup, cook the power greens.
  2. This is a typical risotto. Saute the chopped onion in olive oil and toss in the garlic when the onion is softened. cook without overdoing it.
  3. Add in the rice.
  4. Then add in some good white wine, maybe a half cup? Stir around the rice letting the wine evaporate.
  5. Meanwhile have some water boiling in a teapot. Add some boiling water with the broth cubes/powder whatever to the rice mixture and begin the simmering phase.
  6. As the broth reduces, add in more broth 1/2 c at a time, the usual risotto process. Continue some 15 minutes.
  7. Then stir in the greens and borlotti beans and warm through as the rice finishes cooking.
  8. Remove from the heat.
  9. Finish off by stirring in the butter and parmigiano and sprinkle the parsley on the surface.
  10. Let sit 5 minutes to settle down.
  11. Serve with another hit of grated parmigiano, maybe some freshly ground pepper, up to you.
  12. Enjoy.


  1. "so..." seems to be the starting word on responses to  most questions on NPR interviews this century. {National Public Radio, folks.]
  2. "Power greens" are not well defined but contain spinach for sure (the cheap familiar one) and a few others that lend credence to the "power" name. We like the Costco product, which comes in the biggest bag, necessary since greens notoriously shink under heat. 1.5 lbs? Feeds two hungry people.
  3. "in padella" = "in the pan" which is Italian shorthand for sauteeing in a frying pan with olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes. See our own discussion.
  4. For decades bob has been correcting his Italian friends in English for using plural nouns as adjectives, like "black holes physics" which is wrong, we say "black hole physics", but "power greens risotto" is an exception to the rule, "power green" does not work in the singular and makes it sound like "power" is an adjective modifying "green risotto", so bob is right in spite of his rule that none of his friends ever pay attention to anyway. Did you buy that argument?
  5. Illustrations available.
powergreensrisotto.htm: 4-oct-2016 [what, ME cook? © 1984 dr bob enterprises]