risotto with radicchio and mushrooms

When you find yourself making a dish repeatedly, you get the idea that maybe it's worth writing about. Of course we also find ourselves writing about many dishes that we don't repeat, but that's besides the point. In fact the first version of this recipe we saw on a TV cooking show and after trying it, definitely weren't thinking of repeating it, let alone write about it.

But thanks to a routine gynecological visit waiting room discovery, it got a second chance from a food magazine article about hotel food on Ponza, our favorite Italian island not far from Rome where the suppliers of our motor driven flat pasta machine have often shown us wonderful Italian hospitality. (Eliminating our need for Ponza's hotels and their food.)

We improved this recipe by adding some ordinary looking fresh mushroom remnants lying around the fridge. Too bad radicchio is so outrageously priced these days.

ingredients

what they use

and our comments/additions

base

1 1/2 c finely chopped onion about 1 large onion, we like onion
1/2 stick = 1/4 c = 1/8 lb =50g unsalted butter bob said "Wait, cut down the butter!" but it was too late
1 lb radicchio, sliced thin our head weighed in at 10 oz = 5/8 lb
1/2 - 1 c fresh mushrooms, chopped, all we had at the time, could be increased

rice/broth

2 c arborio rice so we only did 1 1/2 c here to compensate for the reduced radicchio
optional 1/2 c white wine here why not?
6 1/2 c low salt chicken broth we use noMSG veggie broth, about 2 cubes or packets or 2 heaping teaspoons paste

finishing touch

1/2 c freshly grated parmesan (plus some at table)
we always grind some fresh black pepper into our risotto
freshly grated nutmeg to taste who has real nutmeg on hand to grate? sprinkle it in from the spice jar, pretend you know what you're doing

instructions

If you're already familiar with risotto, the ingredient list practically says it all. The instructions are standard.

  1. Saute the onion in the butter (you can reduce here somewhat to lower fat content, maybe partially substitute with olive oil) and then add the radicchio and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. About halfway through this phase, add the faster cooking chopped mushrooms.
  3. Meanwhile bring about 7 cups of water to boil in the teapot.
  4. Next stir in the rice, coating well with the mixture. You may add a half cup white wine at this point and evaporate it off (a few minutes).
  5. Then add a cup or so of the boiling water, and the veggie cubes/packets/paste. As the liquid reduces pour in a cup or so at a time. Stir occasionally. Total water phase is about 20 minutes.
  6. Make sure the rice is fluid enough at termination. If not add a bit of boiling water. Then stir in a half cup OR MORE of freshly grated parmesan and some freshly ground black pepper.
  7. Serve immediately with additional pepper and parmesan sprinkled/ground of top of each portion.

notes

  1. Make the full 2 cups of rice since this is great leftover.
  2. By the way the hotel/restaurant is called Grand Hotel Chiaia di Luna after the nearby beach of the same name, which we think means crescent moon (the shape of the beach) but neither of our Italian dictionaries list the word "chiaia" so it might be the local Ponzese dialect. [Thank Gourmet Magazine, June 1994, p.144. We searched their online archives, but this one "risotto with radicchio" (no mushrooms) did not make it into cyberspace, although a similar one of this name turned up in its companion magazine Bon Appetit May 1997.]
risrdmsh.htm: 21-may-2000 [what, ME cook? 1984 dr bob enterprises]