This is a right-now dish, when fresh spring onions show up in some markets. Lighter than leeks and more substantial than scallions, these onions are a good starting point for a risotto. Swiss chard adds earthiness and pancetta a classic Italian flavor.
A spring onion looks like a scallion on steroids; it is the young onion before the bulb gets really large. There are different varieties out there, but they all work. If you can’t find spring onions, leeks are a good substitute here.
Swiss Chard and Spring Onion Risotto
4 to 6 servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 ounces diced pancetta
8 ounces spring onions, light green and white parts, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (2 cups)
5 ounces Swiss chard, tough stems removed, cut into roughly 1-inch squares
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
4 cups homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth, heated until almost boiling
2 to 4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a 4-quart pot over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the pancetta and stir to coat. Cook for 4 or 5 minutes, until the pancetta starts to crisp.
Add the sliced spring onions; cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring, until the onions soften, then add the chard and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring until it has softened.
Stir in the rice; reduce the heat to medium, then pour in the wine. Cook, stirring, until the wine is absorbed. Add 1 cup of the warm broth and stir until the liquid is almost fully absorbed; then add the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring and allowing the liquid to be absorbed each time before adding more. After 3 cups of the broth have been incorporated, start tasting the rice to see whether it is done. If it is still too firm, add 1/2 cup of broth, stir until that is absorbed and then test for doneness. Repeat with the remaining 1/2 cup of broth if needed. When the risotto looks creamy and the rice is slightly firm to the bite, it’s done. Remove from the heat.
Add 2 tablespoons of the cheese. Season lightly with the pepper, stirring just to incorporate. Taste, and add some or all of the remaining cheese, plus salt and/or pepper as needed.
Serve right away.
Per serving (based on 6): 240 calories, 8 g protein, 34 g carbohydrates, 7 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 340 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugar