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a bowl of creamy artichoke kale risotto with pecorino and fresh parsley

Creamy Artichoke Kale Risotto

You can make this creamy artichoke risotto with just a few pantry staples: canned artichoke hearts, rice, chicken broth and lemon juice. I used pecorino cheese, cream, and white wine to jazz it up, but the truth is, you can make this as basic as possible. Let this creamy risotto comfort you during your quarantine and social distancing.
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups arborio rice can be subbed for another grain
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 white onion diced
  • 4 cups chicken broth or stock (stock is preferred, but I used broth because that is all I had) can be subbed for vegetable broth or stock
  • 1 cup white wine
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 can artichoke hearts can add 1 more can if you want more artichoke flavor
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 4 tbsp butter delicious, but not necessary
  • 1 1/4 cup pecorino can be subbed for Parmesan. 1 cup for risotto and 1/4 cup for topping
  • Salt
  • Parsley, chopped leaves and stems for topping (optional)
  • Black pepper for topping (optional)
  • Lemon zest for topping (optional)
  • 1 cup kale or spinach finely chopped, frozen or fresh (optional)

Instructions
 

  • If using fresh spinach or kale, wash, finely chop and set aside. If using frozen, place 1 cup in a bowl to defrost.
  • Drain the liquid from the can of artichokes and set aside.
  • Slice the artichoke hearts. One artichoke heart should yield 3-5 slices.
  • In a large pot, pour in the chicken broth, artichoke liquid, lemon juice and white wine. Add salt to taste. Heat on medium high until the mixture is boiling, then reduce the heat to a simmer so the liquid stays comfortably hot. (You don't want the mixture boiling for long, just enough to heat it up.)
  • Season a stock pot or large pot with olive oil over medium heat. Add the white onion and sauté for 3 minutes, until soft and tender. If your pan begins to feel “dry,” feel free to add another splash of olive oil to the onions while you sauté to add moisture.
  • Add the garlic and sauté another 2-3 minutes on medium or medium low heat. 
  • Add the artichoke hearts to the garlic and onion mixture. Sauté for 3 minutes. Feel free to season with more olive oil for moisture. 
  • Add 2 tbsp of butter to the mixture and stir until melted and fully incorporated into the onion artichoke mixture, about 2 minutes. If, by the grace of God, you have cultured butter laying around -- I do recommend using it here due to its tangy taste. If not, regular butter is great (salted or unsalted.) If forgoing butter, add another splash of olive oil for moisture.
  • Now it's time to add the rice! With the heat on medium low, add all of the rice to the pot with the artichoke onion mixture. Stir for 3-4 minutes so that the rice can absorb the oil and butter, while also allowing the grain to toast.
  • Add enough of the chicken broth mixture to just cover the rice (about a ladle full, or half a cup.) Stir so that the rice is fully coated in the liquid. You can handle the next steps however you see fit. Option 1: continue stirring the rice until the liquid is absorbed. Option 2: After stirring the rice and fully coating it, put the lid over the pot and let it sit for another 3-4 minutes until absorbed. I’ve tried both and feel confident in the lid method, but the traditional method is to continue stirring almost constantly. Time is all dependent on how much liquid you put into the pot, so check up on it a few times. 
  • Repeat the previous step 3-5 times, until the rice is cooked to your liking. I prefer to stop adding more liquid once the rice is tender, but a little al dente. The rice does continue to absorb even after removed from the heat, so make sure you account for that. Please also note: you do not have to use all the liquid in this recipe, your grain will tell you when its ready! 
  • When the risotto is cooked to your liking, adjust the heat to low. Mix in 2 more tbsp butter (if using), 1/2 cup of half and half, and the pecorino cheese. Salt more to taste if needed. Remove the risotto from the heat. 
  • If mixing in a leafy green such as kale or spinach, stir a handful into the risotto until the color of the leaves changes to a darker green. This should take about 1 minute.
  • If, during this time, the risotto seems to have absorbed all of the liquid and is still too al dente OR if the risotto seems to be too starchy/sticky and you want more moisture ,do not hesitate to add a small splash of the chicken broth mixture to the final risotto and mix until it's fully incorporated. This will give it an extra drink of moisture before serving. Continue to do this until the risotto reaches your desired taste.
  • Top however you see fit. If you are topping with protein or vegetables, cook them as the risotto is cooking so that everything is done on time. 

Video

Keyword arborio rice, artichoke hearts, canned artichokes, canned mushrooms, frozen spinach, pecorino risotto