Broccoli Rabe

Parmesan Risotto With Broccoli Rabe

May 10, 2021
9 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Serves 1
Author Notes

There's nothing more satisfying to me than making exactly one portion of Parmesan risotto just for myself. For something as rich as risotto, anyway, I never want to eat it more than once at a time, not to mention it makes for terrible leftovers. The best risotto is eaten straight out of the pan, its creamy, comforting texture at its peak—especially if you've cooked it right, what the Italians call all'onda (which means it's loose and ripples like a wave). This version is a more grownup take on the broccoli-cheese-rice casseroles I grew up adoring, but with salty-nutty Parmesan and bitter-as-can-be broccoli rabe swapped out for the Velveeta and frozen broccoli from a bag. Because there are days, after one too many late-night fried chicken sandwiches and French fries, when what my body really craves is bitterness (i.e., vegetables). —Eric Kim

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: The Best Thing I Ate on My Solo Trip to New Orleans. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 pound broccoli rabe
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, plus whole leaves for garnish
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock (especially Better Than Bouillon)
  • 1/2 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus shavings for garnish
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously, then toss in the broccoli rabe for a brief 2 minutes. Remove immediately and run under the cold tap. Wrap in paper towel and wring out as much of the water as possible. Place in food processor along with the parsley and cream. Blitz until very smooth.
  2. Pour the stock into a small pot. This next step is optional: For creamier risotto, place the rice in a sieve and rinse in the stock (you may have to tilt the pot to submerge rice in stock). Bring the now cloudier, starchier stock to a gentle simmer and keep over a low flame.
  3. In a medium braiser or any wide-bottomed, high-sided pan (I just use the large pot from the broccoli rabe earlier), melt butter and sauté shallot for a couple minutes, or until translucent. Stir in the drained rice, coating each grain until butter-slicked. Splash in the wine and reduce, stirring constantly.
  4. Once the alcohol has evaporated, lower the heat and slowly ladle in the hot stock (one or two ladlefuls at a time), stirring until fully absorbed by the rice between each addition. Keep stirring until the rice is perfectly al dente (to the tooth), about 18 to 20 minutes.
  5. When cooked to your liking (I like my rice with a slight bite in the middle), stir in the broccoli rabe puree and grated Parmesan, which should loosen the risotto up a bit. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If desired, garnish with whole parsley leaves and Parmesan shavings.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

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Eric Kim was the Table for One columnist at Food52. He is currently working on his first cookbook, KOREAN AMERICAN, to be published by Clarkson Potter in 2022. His favorite writers are William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and Ernest Hemingway, but his hero is Nigella Lawson. You can find his bylines at The New York Times, where he works now as a writer. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @ericjoonho.

3 Reviews

Selene D. December 30, 2019
Today I made this recipe for the second time. I used regular broccoli, and instead of heavy cream (run out of it) I used a little bit of my homemade keffir milk. To me it was beyond delicious.

I am and old fashion cook, so never use microwave (steamed or electric oven) maybe because of that, I do enjoy leftovers regularly.
Fran M. June 16, 2019
Leftover risotto is great left over. I roll it into a ball, stick a small piece of mozzarella inside it. Dip in egg and then bread crumbs and pan fry it. It’s delicious.
Susanna June 15, 2019
I can’t wait to make this—it sounds spectacular. My only quibble (solo diner here also) is that I love having leftover risotto for fried risotto cakes with poached eggs the next morning!