Radishes are my new favorite Spring vegetable. Last year it was beets, because they were new to me. This year, radishes take the cake. They are tricky, though. So far the only way I have been able to use them is sliced up in salads or on fresh tacos. I’ve also tried them as a snack with a little butter or creme fresh and salt.

They are simple and delicious, as well as a great snack. But I’ve been wanting to figure out a way to cook with them. I’ve found a few recipes, but this one intrigued me because it is also a risotto. I’ve made risotto style pasta before, but haven’t yet cooked with arborio rice. This recipe combined a risotto technique, topped with radishes. I figured I’d try it out.

Romano Risotto with Radishes
from Epicurious

For the risotto:
6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (48 fl ounces)
2 cups hot water
3/4 stick unsalted butter, divided
1 medium onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 pound Arborio rice (2 1/2 cups)
2/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano

For the radishes:

  • 1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound trimmed radishes, julienned
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives

  • To make the risotto, bring the broth and water to a simmer in a 3-to 4-quart saucepan. Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons butter in a 4-to 5-quart heavy pot over medium heat until foam subsides, then cook onion, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in rice and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine and cook, stirring, until absorbed, about 1 minute.

    Stir 1 cup simmering broth into rice and cook, stirring constantly and keeping at a strong simmer, until absorbed. Continue cooking and adding broth, about 1 cup at a time, stirring frequently and letting each addition be absorbed before adding next, until rice is just tender and creamy-looking but still al dente, 18 to 22 minutes. Thin with some of remaining broth if necessary (you will have some left over). Remove from heat. Stir in cheese, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and remaining 3 tablespoon butter.

    For the radishes, whisk together vinegar, oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Toss radishes with dressing and chives. Serve risotto topped with radishes.

    I will be honest and admit that this was not one of my favorite recipes. The combination of the wine, onions, garlic, butter, and broth was far to strong for me.  It could be that I had a hard time mastering the recipe; the idea of the risotto.  I’m not sure what it was, but this was not a stellar meal. It made plenty of food and seemed more of a side dish than a dish. It also provided me with tons of leftovers. I brought some into work the following day and one of my co-workers asked me if something went bad in the fridge when I heated it up. The remainder of the meal is still sitting in the fridge in my apartment because I’m skeptical of giving it a third try.

    Upon reading some recipes, it might just be that you need to have a taste for such strong flavors. I don’t think that this recipe was terrible, but I think that if I am going to give risotto a try again, I will skip the radishes. If I cook with radishes again, it won’t be in a risotto!

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