Risotto with Gorgonzola, Olives and Radicchio
6 cups homemade stock, hot (see Note below)
1 sprig of thyme
1 head radicchio, about 4 ounces, cored
1 lemon, cut in 5 or 6 wedges
3 tablespoons butter
2 shallots, minced
1¼ cup Italian rice, preferably Vialone Nano or Carnaroli
½ cup dry red wine (Pedroncelli Three Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon)
1/3 cup minced black olives
4 ounces Gorgonzola dolce
Black pepper in a mill
2 ounces grated Vella Dry Jack, Estero Gold or similar cheese
¼ cup minced fresh Italian parsley
Keep the stock hot in a saucepan set over low heat; add the thyme sprig.
Pour a little olive oil into a deep sauté pan (an All-Clad saucier is ideal) and set over medium-low heat. Working quickly, cut the radicchio into thin ribbons, add it to the pan and sauté, until it's just wilted. Squeeze the juice of one lemon wedge over the radicchio, season with salt and use tongs to transfer to a small plate or dish. Set aside.
Return the pan to medium heat and add the butter. When it is melted, add the shallots and cook until they soften, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring all the while, for about 2 minutes, until every grain turns milky white. Season with salt.
Add the wine and stir until it is completely absorbed by the rice.
Begin adding the hot stock, ½ cup at a time, stirring all the while as the rice absorbs the liquid.
Adjust the heat as needed so the liquid does not evaporate quickly.
After about 15 minutes, taste the rice. When it is almost done, the kernels will be crunchy in the center. Add the radicchio and continue stirring and adding liquid, ¼ cup at a time.
Taste every minute or so until the rice is tender but not soft; the grains should be distinct. Working quickly, stir in the olives and cheeses. Season very generously with black pepper, taste, correct for salt and stir in the last of the stock. Discard the thyme sprig.
Ladle into soup plates, garnish with parsley and a lemon wedge and enjoy right away.
Note: Homemade stock chicken, duck or a combination is best in this dish, but you can use a mild vegetable stock, mushroom stock or a commercial broth if that's what is available. If using a commercial broth, thin with no more than 3 cups of water.
Michele Anna Jordan is the author of 24 books to date. Email her at email@example.com.