This is Marcella Hazan's way with risotto. Over the years I've dropped the butter she favored and substituted olive oil. I think the green part is my own idea but I might have borrowed it.
3 broccoli stalks (florets divided into small blossoms, stems peeled and chopped into tiny cubes)
bouillon cube optional
1/2 lb. snow peas or sugar snap peas, slash-cut at an angle
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil with great flavor
1/4 cup chopped shallots or onion
6 cups homemade meat or chicken stock or low-sodium broth in cans
2 cups Italian rice, Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone Nano
1 cup finely snipped parsley
1 cup finely snipped cilantro
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
lots of black pepper, freshly ground
1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
juice of half a lemon
Blanche broccoli florets in boiling water (flavored with bouillon cube if desired). Cook until tender (to your taste). Put 2 tbsp oil and onions and chopped broccoli stems in heavy-bottomed pot large enough for making risotto. Bring liquid to simmer in separate pot. Cook on medium heat until onion softens, add garlic and cook a few minutes, then add rice, stirring to cover the grains with the oily onion mix. Turn the heat to medium high, add a ladleful of broth.
Stir thoroughly until the rice is tender but firm (without a hard chalky core).
The mix should be a bit soupy. If you run out of broth, add water or warmed white wine. As you see the risotto coming to its grand finale, toss the snow peas or sugar snaps in the last 2 tbsp of olive oil. Toss into risotto, add half the chopped parsley and cilantro, the cheese and a small splash of olive oil if you think it needs it. Taste before salting. Serve with the remaining chopped greens on top and extra grated parmesan on the side. Serve to 6-8 lucky friends before the entree.
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