Monday, June 14, 2010

Risotto with Baby Broccoli Rabe

I don't know if the baby broccoli rabe is new this year at Quail Hill, or if I've just never noticed it since I've been so absorbed in previous years by the arugula growing in the next row, but this is the first time I've picked a bunch and brought it home. It was so tender that there was no need to blanch it (as I do when I buy it at the IGA in the winter) before doing anything else with it. So last night I just stirred it into a pot of risotto about 2 minutes before serving to cook it through. Here is the recipe:

Risotto with Baby Broccoli Rabe

Serves 4 to 6

I used some of my Bridgehampton pancetta in this recipe, but you could substitute a link of Italian sausage with fennel from the IGA, for a heartier version, or leave out the pancetta altogether and use vegetable broth or extra water for a vegetarian dish.

4 cups low-sodium canned chicken broth
3 cups water
3 ounces pancetta, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
1 bunch baby broccoli rabe
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Ground black pepper

1. Warm the broth and water in a medium saucepan. Keep warm over low heat.
2. Cook the pancetta until just crisp in a medium pot. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the fat.
3. Add a tablespoon of butter and the onion to the pot and cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
4. Add 1/2 cup of the warm broth mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until the rice absorbs the liquid. Continue adding warm liquid in 1-cup increments, always stirring, until the rice is al dente. If you run out of liquid, heat up some water and continue to add it to the pot until the rice is done.
5. Stir in the broccoli rabe and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the remaining tablespoon butter and the cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide among bowls, sprinkle each portion with some pancetta, and serve.


  1. hmm, i don't think i've ever heard of baby broccoli rabe before, but this sounds good

  2. It is so tender! But I think to get some you have to pick it yourself!