Bhutanese red rice with baby Swiss chard
- olive oil
- a small shallot, minced
- 1 cup Bhutanese red rice
- 1 and 1/2 cup homemade vegetable stock + 1 cup water
- a generous splash of white wine, not cold
- 8-10 leaves of colored baby chard, or a handful of baby spinach leaves (see Variation below)
- salt, to taste
- freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 40 min
Total time: 50 min
Wash the baby chard leaves, cut the stalks and chop them finely. Bring the diluted stock to a simmer in a saucepan. In another saucepan, warm up half to one tablespoon of olive oil, then add the shallot. Cook on low for a couple of minutes, then add the chopped chard stalks and continue cooking for several more minutes, until the shallot is translucent.
Add the rice and let it toast for one minute, then add the white wine. Let the wine evaporate, while stirring the rice, then add enough broth to cover the rice. Continue to add the simmering broth, a ladleful at a time, letting the rice absorb it. Keep the risotto at a nice simmer and stir it at regular intervals. Make sure the rice is always quite wet. (This rice behaves differently from Carnaroli or Arborio when cooked risotto style.)
After 30 minutes, add the chard leaves, cut into ribbons. Continue cooking until the rice is done (5-7 minutes). Add 1/4 cup of parmigiano reggiano. Stir until the cheese is melted, then let the risotto rest, covered, for a few minutes while you gather the guests around the table. Adjust the salt. Serve with additional parmigiano reggiano on the side.
Variation: you can make this recipe using a handful of baby spinach, left whole, added at the same time as you would add the chard leaves.