Thursday, April 5, 2012

Wild Greens Risotto

A few days ago I peered out a window at the hospital and found, in a courtyard, some very large greens.  I thought they might be curly dock but when I got a closer look, they weren't.  But, what were they?  I spent a bunch of time with my iPhone app and also various pictures on the web, and wikipedia, and finally felt confident that they were a form of wild lettuce, Lactuca canadensis.  I picked a huge amount and also some large dandelion leaves.  When I got home, 12 hours later, I washed it all, separated the dandelions, and blanched everything.  The dandelions were frozen, as were some of the wild lettuce, and I saved a cup of them for tonight, when I had time to make a risotto.

The recipe comes from Hunt, Gather, Cook and originally called for nettles, but the author (Hank Shaw) said any kind of wild green would do.  I bought some oyster mushrooms to add in.  To make the risotto I sauteed the mushrooms, some shallots and garlic in butter and then added a cup of Arborio rice and a teaspoon of salt.  When everything was coated in butter, I added a cup of stock and brought it to a boil, then let it simmer and absorb.  I gradually added a total of 4 cups of stock (2 turkey and 2 chicken) plus the greens.  When all the liquid was absorbed I added some more butter and about half a cup of grated parmesan and let everything meld together.  This was served with a pot roast.  My husband declared this risotto on par with anything he's ever had in a restaurant.  And he loves risotto!

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