Smothered Cabbage Risotto

March 16, 2010
3 Ratings
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

Inspired by Marcella Hazan's Rice and Smothered Cabbage Soup, this risotto is a luxurious preparation of downright humble ingredients. It starts and ends with red wine vinegar, which gives it depth and tang. It may not be a looker, but give it one taste and you'll be hooked. —Rivka

What You'll Need
  • Smothered Cabbage:
  • 2 pounds green or Savoy cabbage
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Risotto:
  • olive oil
  • 1.5 cups Arborio rice
  • 6 cups homemade chicken stock, simmering on the stove
  • half a recipe or more of the Smothered Cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  1. Smothered Cabbage:
  2. Clean cabbage and discard tough outer layers. Slice cabbage in half lengthwise, and shred as finely as possible using either a sharp knife or a mandoline. Be sure to remove the inner core of the cabbage -- it's too tough to cut.
  3. Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring regularly, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add garlic. When garlic takes on some color, add cabbage. Using tongs, turn cabbage once or twice to incorporate it with the oil and onions, and cook until wilted.
  4. Add vinegar, salt, and pepper. Turn heat to lowest possible setting, cover pot, and cook at least 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally, until soft, tender, and practically melted. If at any point the cabbage looks dry or it looks like the bottom may burn, add a tablespoon of water to moisten. When cabbage is fully cooked, taste and adjust for salt, pepper, and vinegar. You want the cabbage just a very little bit tangy -- mostly sweet and soft and buttery. When cabbage is ready, transfer to a bowl and wipe out pot.
  1. Risotto:
  2. Swirl a couple tablespoons of olive oil in the same pot you used to make the cabbage. Heat over medium. Add rice and use a wooden spoon to stir and evenly coat the kernels with the olive oil. When rice is hot to the touch, add 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar and 1 ladle of stock. Lower heat to medium-low and cook, stirring continuously, until stock evaporates. Add more stock and continue stirring. As you continue adding stock and stirring, the rice will emit some of its starch, which will thicken the risotto and make it silky. Around 10 minutes into cooking, add two ladles of cabbage. Stir to incorporate and continue stirring and adding stock as before. At around 13 minutes, begin tasting the risotto; adjust seasoning and add more cabbage if desired. Continue cooking, adding stock as necessary, until rice is done but ever so slightly al dente. Add some or all of remaining tablespoon red wine vinegar to add slight tang. Off the heat, add butter and parmesan cheese. Stir to incorporate and serve immediately.
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  • Droplet
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  • Rivka
  • thirschfeld
I'm a healthcare consultant by day, food blogger by night, and I make a mean veggie chili. I'm eat a mostly-vegetarian diet, but have a soft spot for meat, especially braised short ribs. And this profile wouldn't be complete without an admission that I absolutely am addicted to cookies and chocolate. Finally, I love the idea of food52 and can't wait to share and read my and others' favorite recipes!

11 Reviews

margeypan April 2, 2020
I made this and stirred in some crispy bacon at the end. It was delicious!
margeypan April 2, 2020
I made this and added crispy bacon that I stirred in at the end. It was delicious!
jevyn January 29, 2019
It's a hearty dish but not at the top of my favorite dishes.
jlm086 May 5, 2012
Made this the other night and it was fantastic! I used equal parts purple and green cabbage. I also finished the risotto off with a 1/4 cup of heavy cream which really brought out the creamy Parmesan flavor of the risotto. So delicious!
Droplet July 1, 2011
My grandmother used to make this all the time, except with sauerkraut. It was her signature dish :). A bit of rosemary goes well with it.
arielleclementine March 24, 2010
Rivka! We had this for dinner tonight and it was soo incredible. We devoured it- and the cabbage really is brilliant. Thank you so much for the recipe!
Rivka March 31, 2010
hooray! yes, it really is so ridiculously good -- glad you liked!
Loves F. March 18, 2010
I love making cabbage like this and serving with pasta and parm, never thought of adding it to a risotto! Great idea!
Rivka March 18, 2010
my pleasure! It's the best cabbage I've had in a very long time. I've got some leftovers from making this recipe and I've been sneaking spoonfuls into omelets, roasted vegetables, etc.
arielleclementine March 16, 2010
this rocks my world! i have been searching for a cabbage just like this! thanks for posting it :)
thirschfeld March 16, 2010
that looks so, so, so good. I will make this, this fall with cabbage from our garden. Yumm