How to make caramelized radicchio with chestnut risotto?

Radicchio is Italian chicory. It is a leafy vegetable resembling lettuce but in no means like it. It has a bitter spicy taste and is either roasted or grilled. This plant grows in maroon color having white veins, and due to its flavor adds to the crunchiness in salads. In Italy, where it is most popular, it is often combined with risotto and other stir fried vegetables.

Risotto is Italian rice which is normally cooked in vegetable stock or flavored broth. Risotto is mainly served as first course and is cooked in different styles and flavors. The combination of both enhances the dish as it caramelized and has chestnuts in it. The caramelized radicchio adds to the zingness of flavor and chestnuts give it a crunchy taste. The dish is a new experiment which is being enjoyed by numerous people.

Caramelized radicchio with chestnut risotto

Complexity level: Medium

Time taken: 30 to 35 minutes

Ingredients:

Extra virgin olive oil: 5tbsp

Butter: 50 gm

Banana (chopped): 1 cup

Garlic (chopped): 1 tsp

Risotto rice: 400 gm

White wine: 120 ml

Sugar: 2 tsp

Vegetable stock: 4 cups

Halved radicchio: 5

Chestnuts (cooked and chopped): 200 gm

Parmesan cheese: ½ cup

Fresh cream: 1 cup

Procedure:

In a sauce pan, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and melt butter in it. Once the butter melts, add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Put in bananas and cook until they are soft on medium flame. Pour in the rice and stir till bananas coat them perfectly. Add white wine and cook till it evaporates. In the similar way, add in the vegetable stock stirring continuously for 15 minutes. (Remember to add vegetable stock in small quantities.)

Next, shred the radicchio and add them in rice with 100 gm of chestnuts. Cover and cook for 5 minutes more. While the rice is being cooked, in another pan add 1 tbsp of olive oil with 1 tsbp of butter. Put in sugar and cook till it changes it color. Now add the remaining radicchio (cut in long halves) caramelizing it till golden brown. Add rest of the chestnuts and cook for 2 more minutes.

Pour in the fresh cream to thicken its consistency and cook it for another 2 minutes. Once the risotto is done, remove from heat and add butter and parmesan cheese. Let the cheese get melt completely and serve it hot with topping of already made radicchio and chestnut mixture.

Tips:

Choosing the right risotto is very important. While buying it, be sure to choose risotto which is either semi round or short grained round. You need to be very careful about the timing as risotto gets cooked very fast.

Radicchio has a peppy flavor, so perfect blend of other flavors are essential. While serving this dish, you can top it with extra virgin olive oil, as it would increase the look and taste.

Add a dash of freshly crushed black pepper to parmesan. It will sure work wonders.

Instead of bananas, you can also choose other fruits of your choice; just be sure to cook them perfectly.

Always add milk or cream in the end otherwise it will get burnt or will be excessively cooked and spoil the dish.

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