Risotto alle Rape is a simple risotto that is prepared with turnips in Italy, but can just as easily be prepared with kohlrabi (which is a close relative with a very similar flavor). As always with risotto, the quality is determined by the stock. So make your own stock for best results. That takes a bit of time, but only a little work and it is easy. You can keep it vegetarian by using vegetable stock, or make it a bit more rich by using chicken stock. The diced turnips should be tender but firm to the bite. To use all of their flavor in the risotto, I blanch the turnips in the stock that will be used for the risotto. Any flavor that leaks out of the turnips will thus end up in the risotto anyway.
For 2 large or 3 medium servings
- 400 grams (.9 lbs) kolhrabi or turnip, weight after peeling
- 200 grams (1 cup) risotto rice, I prefer carnaroli
- 750 ml (3 cups) homemade vegetable stock or homemade chicken stock
- 1 small onion (or 1/2 medium onion), minced
- 80 ml (1/3 cup) dry white wine
- 3 Tbsp butter, divided
- 1 Tbsp minced fresh flat leaf parsley
- freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
Peel and dice the turnips.
Bring the stock to a boil in a saucepan and blanch the turnips in the stock until tender but firm to the bite, about 10 minutes.
Take the turnips out of the stock with a strainer, and reserve. Keep the stock hot but not boiling.
While the turnip is simmering, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a wide thick-bottomed low pan. Add the onions, and stir over low to medium heat until the onions have softened and are slightly golden, 5 to 10 minutes.
Add the rice.
Toast the rice over medium heat until the rice is covered with butter and hot.
Add the white wine.
Stir until the wine has been absorbed, then add a ladle of hot stock. Season with salt.
Stir until the stock has been absorbed, then add another ladle of stock. Regulate the temperature such that the rice keeps simmering. Keep stirring and adding stock until the rice is almost tender. If you run out of stock, switch to hot water.
When the rice is almost tender…
…add the reserved turnips…
…and a final ladle of stock.
Stir to incorporate.
Turn off the heat. Add a handful of freshly grated parmigiano and the remaining tablespoon of butter in pieces.
Stir until the butter and cheese have melted; this is called mantecare. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt if needed. Allow to rest for a couple of minutes.
Add most of the parsley and stir to incorporate.
Serve on preheated plates, garnished with the remaining parsley.
Poblano chiles stuffed with shrimp and cheese is quite simple with a limited number of ingredients, but very tasty. The combination of textures and flavors works really well: spicy pepper, earthy shrimp, sweet soft onions, and cheesy cheese.