Kale and Parmesan Risotto With Sweet Onions

Serves: 6 to 8


1 quart chicken stock

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided use

1 medium shallot or ½ small onion, chopped (about ½ cup)

1½ cups arborio rice

½ cup white wine

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 cups baby kale, torn into bite-size pieces

2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Kosher salt

White pepper

1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped


Heat stock to a simmer in a medium pot, then lower the heat so that the stock stays hot.

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil and 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. When butter has melted, add chopped shallot or onion. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes or until it is slightly translucent.

Add rice to the shallots mixture and stir briskly with a wooden spoon so grains are coated with oil and melted butter. Saute for another minute or so, until there is a slightly nutty aroma; don’t let rice turn brown.

Add wine and cook while stirring, until the liquid is fully absorbed.

Add a ladle of hot chicken stock to rice and stir until liquid is fully absorbed.

When rice appears almost dry, add another ladle of stock and repeat the process. (Note: It’s important to stir constantly, especially while the hot stock gets absorbed, to prevent scorching, and add the next ladle as soon as the rice is almost dry.)

Continue adding ladles of hot stock and stirring the rice while the liquid is absorbed. As it cooks, you’ll see that the rice will take on a creamy consistency. Continue adding stock, a ladle at a time, for 20-30 minutes or until grains are tender but still firm to the bite.

(Note: If you run out of stock and the risotto still isn’t done, you can finish the cooking using hot water. Just add the water as you did with the stock, a ladle at a time, stirring while it’s absorbed.)

Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter, Parmesan cheese, kale and lemon juice. Season to taste with kosher salt and white pepper. Garnish with parsley when serving.

Note: Risotto turns glutinous if held for too long; you should serve it right away. A properly cooked risotto should form a soft, creamy mound on a dinner plate. It shouldn’t run across the plate, nor should it be stiff or gluey.

Chef Robert Carter of Carter’s Kitchen and Rutledge Cab Co. has appeared on the Food Network and “Martha Stewart Living” and has been featured in numerous publications, including Food & Wine, Esquire, Bon Appetit and The New York Times.