Author Notes: Romaine has never been my favorite salad, and I have always gone to great lengths to find alternative uses for it – grilled, broiled, braised, simmered -- you name it. Under such “unorthodox” treatments, romaine unleashes all these wonderful flavors that remain hidden in the raw leaves and takes a life of its own… —QueenSashy
- 1 1/4 cups Arborio rice
- 1 heart of romaine, finely shredded
- 1 baby cipollini onion or 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 5 cups vegetable stock
- Juice of one lemon, plus some lemon zest for garnish
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- In a small pan bring the stock to boil, reduce the heat and keep simmering over low heat.
- In a large saucepan, heat two tablespoons of olive oil with the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until the onion has softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and rice, and cook until the rice is translucent, about 2 minutes.
- Add enough of the hot stock to cover the rice. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the stock has been absorbed. Stir constantly and as rice absorbs, continue adding stock one ladleful at time. Cook until the rice is al dente and suspended in a creamy sauce, for about 20 minutes.
- Remove the risotto from the heat, add the romaine and stir to gently wilt the leaves. Add the lemon juice, Pecorino and season with salt and pepper.
- Spoon the risotto into individual plates and finish with a spoon of olive oil and lemon zest.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Lettuce