RISOTTO VERDE ALLA BLUEGRASS (ITALIAN-AMERICAN)
This risotto is sort of an ethnic blend of Italian and Kentucky country cookery -- it's basically a Risotto Verde made using mustard greens in place of the usual spinach. (Collards, turnip greens or kale would also work just fine.) Using a much more assertive green than spinach definitely adds an assertive quality to the dish, and I thought it went exceptionally with an aggressively herbaceous Sanford Sauvignon Blanc.
The procedure's simple enough, and the only meat in it, the chicken broth, could be replaced with water or vegetable broth to make this a vegetarian dinner-in-a-dish:
Thoroughly wash and drain one large bunch of mustard greens, tear 'em into bite-size pieces, and pop them into a large pot with an inch or so of water and a teaspoon full of salt. Simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until they're just tender but not overcooked. Drain in a large strainer, reserving the cooking water, which should be about 2 cups.
Mix the cooking water, 1 or 2 cups of chicken broth (homemade is best) and enough water to make about 8 cups, and set it on a back burner to simmer.
Chop a medium onion, a smallish carrot and one celery stalk into dice, and mince one large garlic clove. Sautee all this in minimal olive oil (and, if you wish, a little chopped pancetta) in the pan that you'll later use to cook the risotto, stirring frequently over low heat for 10 or 15 minutes or until the veggies are well cooked. Stir in the cooked greens, then toss 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice just until it's well mixed in.
Start making risotto by the traditional process, stirring in the simmering liquid a ladle-full at a time, stirring constantly, adding more liquid to keep the rice grains wet but not swimming, for about 25 minutes or until the rice is just al dente and making its own sauce. Remove from heat, stir in 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, 1 ounce of butter (optional but delicious) and salt and pepper to taste, and serve.