This season’s wet weather is keeping people indoors and under blankets, which brings us the opportunity for some serious comfort food—especially when it’s dolloped with Haystack’s Boulder Chèvre.
For this month’s rainy day recipe, we looked to Boulder’s own Chef Steve Redzikowski of Oak at Fourteenth. In his Slow Food Fast contribution to the Wall Street Journal, Chef Redzikowski offers a fresh take on the traditional Italian one-pot rice dish. Layering flavor and texture, Chef Redzikowski adds a springtime kick with chèvre, fresh peas, and charred spring onions, which he sources from Boulder’s Red Wagon Organic Farm.
While one-pot meals boast a badda-bing-badda-boom reputation for ease and simplicity, Chef Steven Redzikowski warns against the “just throw everything into a pot” method of making this dish. It’s important to add the ingredients at the right time, and to handle them with care. For example, he advises adding (very!) cold butter at the end when the rice is just off the heat, allowing the fat to emulsify correctly. This allows the butter and starches released from the rice to bind the ingredients, creating a silky texture.
To ring in the spring, Chef Redzikowski tops the risotto with dollops of chèvre, charred ramps or spring onions, and blanched peas. The results? Comfort food gone fresh. “What would otherwise be a heavy bowl of rice is loosened up and lightened,” the chef said. “It’s textured and clean.” We agree with you whole-heartedly on that one, Chef Redzikowski, especially on our second helping. Enjoy!
Steven Redzikowski’s Risotto With Goat Cheese and Spring Vegetables
Total Time: 35 minutes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
2 ramps or scallions
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, minced
Leaves from 2 sprigs thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for garnish
2 cups Carnaroli or Arborio rice
1½ cups white wine
10 cups hot chicken stock
½ cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons cold butter
¼ cup pea shoots or thinly sliced basil
2 ounces goat cheese
1. In a small pot of boiling salted water, blanch peas until bright green, 1-2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer directly into an ice-water bath. Strain and toss peas dry. Set aside.
2. Set a burner on high, place ramps directly on top and char on all sides, 1-2 minutes total. Remove and thinly slice. Stir peas and sliced ramps together and season with salt. Set aside.
3. In a wide medium pot over medium-high heat, sauté garlic, onions and thyme in oil until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in rice, coating grains, then add wine and increase heat to high. Cook, stirring, until wine evaporates, 4-5 minutes.
4. Return heat to medium-high, ladle 2 cups hot stock into rice and simmer, stirring, until most of liquid evaporates, 2-4 minutes. Add remaining stock 2 cups at a time, letting it mostly absorb before adding more, and continue to cook, stirring, until grains are just tender and consistency is loose but not soupy, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Off heat, fold in Parmesan and butter.
5. To serve, ladle risotto into bowls. Garnish with pea and ramp mixture, pea shoots, dollops of goat cheese and a drizzle of oil.