Kohlrabi Risotto with Pancetta and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Creamy, fresh, like a summer version of mac and cheese only not as goopy. VEGETARIAN OPTION: Substitute the pancetta with an additional 2 Tbsp of butter and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth to make this recipe vegetarian.
- 4 oz diced pancetta
- 1 C diced kohlrabi bulbs
- 2 Tbsp butter
- ¾ C small chopped white onion
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 C arborio rice
- ½ C dry white wine
- 3-4 C chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 C packed chopped kohlrabi leaves
- 2 Tbsp fresh chopped basil
- ½ C freshly grated parmesan plus more for garnish
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 C halved grape tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Step 1 Preheat your oven to 425ºF.
- Step 2 Cook the diced pancetta over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until it becomes golden brown and crunchy, but not hard. Ladle out of the pan into a small bowl and set aside.
- Step 3 While the pancetta is cooking, slice, oil, and salt and pepper the grape tomatoes. Place them on an unlined baking sheet and roast at 425ºF for about 20 minutes, stirring once. They are done cooking when they are just beginning to blacken. Also use this time to prep your other ingredients.
- Step 4 Turn the pan up to medium-high heat. Melt 2 Tbsp of butter into the pan and then add diced kohlrabi and the chopped onions. Cook until the onions become soft, about 3 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook 1 more minute.
- Step 5 Add the arborio rice (risotto rice) to the pan and cook in the vegetables in oil until some of the grains are translucent on the outside and opaque on the inside. This will take about 3 minutes.
- Step 6 Add the white wine to the pan and cook uncovered while stirring slowly and continuously until almost all of the liquid is absorbed. Next, add the chicken broth 1 cup at a time and keep stirring slowly and continuously, waiting to add additional broth until the previous cup is cooked down.
- Step 7 After cooking down 2 cups of chicken broth stir in the kohlrabi leaves and the precooked pancetta, then add the third cup of chicken broth.
- Step 8 After the third cup of broth is absorbed, begin checking your risotto for doneness. It should be soft on the outer part of the grain but chewy at the center (much like al dente pasta). The process of continuously stirring the arborio rice and adding the liquid slowly should have drawn starch out of the grain so it will create it’s own creamy, starchy sauce. If the rice still seems a bit hard and the sauce is a bit watery, continue adding the chicken broth to the pan ¼-1/2 C at a time until you reach the desired consistency. The entire cooking process will only take 15-20 minutes.
- Step 9 Once perfectly cooked, remove the rice from the heat and stir in fresh basil, grated parmesan, salt and pepper to taste and ½-1 C of warm broth until the risotto reaches your desired thickness. Garnish with the roasted tomatoes and freshly grated parmesan. Serve immediately.