True, anything with a cup of grated Grana Padano is going to taste good. But, to me, at least, that's a great excuse to indulge in some risotto, and this risotto does indeed have a cup of grated Grana in it. That's not all that's in it, though — delicate shiitake mushrooms and wilted Swiss chard are in the mix as well, and a topping of crisp-tender chopped chard stems lend a little crunch and a ton of visual appeal. After all, you eat with your eyes, too.
- 2 quarts vegetable stock
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 shallot, minced
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped finely
- 1 Pound arborio rice
- 1 Cup white wine
- 3 1/2 Ounces shiitake mushrooms
- 1 Cup grated Grana Padano
- 1 bunch Swiss chard
- 1/2 Cup finely chopped parsley, for garnish
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for serving (optional)
Bring the vegetable stock to a simmer in a medium-sized pot. Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large pot over low heat and add the shallot and garlic. Cook until golden brown, about 6-7 minutes.
Add the rice and cook until slightly colored, about 5 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and add the wine. Stir until just absorbed. Add the mushrooms and begin adding the vegetable broth ½ cup at a time, stirring until just absorbed before adding the next ½ cup. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, as you add the broth. Continue until the rice is just cooked, about 18 minutes, and add a final ½ cup broth before removing from the heat. (You may not need all of the vegetable broth.) Add the cheese.
Remove the ribs from the chard and chop them finely. Cut the leaves into ribbons and heat the 1 tablespoon of the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the leaves and cook until wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Mix the leaves into the risotto.
Melt the remaining butter in the same sauté pan over medium heat and add the stems. Cook until crisp tender, about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and transfer to a bowl.
To serve, divide the risotto among bowls and top with the chard stems and extra-virgin olive oil, if using.