Summer Greens Risotto

Makes 6 servings

1 turnip, diced
3 Tbsp butter
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 cups arborio rice
¾ cup dry sherry
6 cups stock
½ cup parmesan cheese
4 oz. mushrooms, sliced
2 cups Swiss chard, chopped
2 cups spicy mustard greens, chopped
½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Roast the turnip, lightly coated in olive oil and sprinkled with salt, for about 45 minutes. The turnip pieces should be just starting to brown at the edges and no longer hard in the middle.

In a large frying pan or skillet, add 2 Tbsp of olive oil and turn the burner to medium heat. Add the Swiss chard, mustard greens, and mushrooms. Saute for about a minute. Add the cherry tomatoes to the skillet and immediately turn the heat off. The tomatoes don’t need to get cooked, just warmed with the rest of the vegetables.

Melt the butter in a large pot. Add the shallots and saute until the shallots are lightly browned and aromatic.

Add the arborio rice and toast it in the butter until you can smell the slightly nutty scent of the rice.

Add the dry sherry to deglaze the pot, stirring to combine. Simmer the rice and sherry until the liquid is completely absorbed.

Add the stock, ¼ cup at a time and stir, waiting until each portion of stock is absorbed into the rice to add the next.

After about 12 minutes of cooking/adding stock, taste the rice and add salt, pepper to taste.

The risotto is done when the grains are still slightly al dente, but not crunchy, and when it has the consistency of thick porridge.

Add the parmesan cheese to the risotto and stir to fully combine.

Serve by plating some of the risotto and spooning some of the roasted turnip and stir-fried greens on top.

It has felt great to be back in my childhood home, spending time with my family and enjoying some almost-vacation time. I’m feeling grateful for the opportunity to spend lots of times with James and be at home during a “normal” time of year. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to visit home fairly often over the years, but usually they’ve been short visits during a holiday. That has meant that I frantically try to see as many friends and family members as I can, get whatever work done that needs to get done, and attend all the usual holiday events. Consequently, those visits were both joyful and stressful. It feels different and nice to be here in the spring and to know that we’ll be here for a while. No need to coordinate friend dinners with three different friend groups all in one weekend, no need to buy and wrap Christmas presents while trying to relax.

Sure, the house buying process has been stressful. But work on that front has been book-ended by lazy mornings of long walks with the dog in the woods, time sitting on the porch and reading, attending town events, like my niece’s dance recital, going out for drinks with my brother and cousin, etc. It’s exciting to think about beginning to integrate ourselves back into a life in Massachusetts, after many years of being a seasonal visitor.

For being only an occasional, seasonal visitor, my parents have done an amazing job of making their home and kitchen as friendly to this celiac as they can. My mom has long labeled things that she makes and freezes as to whether they are gluten free or not, so that when I come home for a visit, she can pull something out of the freezer and feed it to me with confidence. They have always had a designated toaster on hand, that only emerges when I am in town. My mom wipes down the counters when they get crumby from sandwich-making and advises me whether a container of pesto or jam has been contaminated by a gluten-y knife. I’m so grateful for all of the effort they put into making me feel at home in their kitchen.

The very least we can do, in thanks for all this, is cook dinner for the family sometimes. So after our visit to the local farmers’ market the other week, as we toted back a bag full of vegetables and greens, we plotted our meal. We loved the idea of something that would be filling, yet simple enough to allow the flavors of the Swiss chard, mustard, and turnip shine through. Risotto fit the bill! It’s such an adaptable dish — what are your favorite types or toppings for risotto? Let us know in the comments!

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