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Crispy Grilled Kale and Pancetta Risotto

Another recipe from the January 2012 Sunset magazine titled Feel Good Dinners.

*Kale is a form of cabbage, green or purple, in which the central leaves do not form a head. It is considered to be closer to wild cabbage than most domesticated forms. Its species contains a wide array of vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens, and brussels sprouts.  Kale is very high in beta-carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, and reasonably rich in calcium.

Once again, I didn’t totally follow the recipe.  I was unable to find the specific kale the recipe asked for.  Tuscan kale, which is what the recipe called for is actually different than curly kale, the version available at Top Foods.  Visually, texturally and the bitterness levels are different.  Possibly taste as well; I have never tasted either one.  However, curly kale is what was available and so curly kale it was.

Also, due to the difference between the two kales, I thought it would be difficult to grill curly kale and so I roasted it in the oven instead.

The measurements of the additions to the risotto were a little on the slim side.   One ounce of pancetta.  Really, that’s it?  One ounce is like nothing, and what isn’t better with more pancetta in it?  Besides, a package of pancetta is three ounces, and I’m not about to waste it!  I also bulked up the amount of toasted walnuts, oil-packed dried tomatoes, and chopped onion and added a bit more mascarpone cheese.

I was a tad worried that the kale wouldn’t be good, as it roasted unevenly in the oven (due to so much of it on the sheet pan) and taste test was bitter.  Curly kale is bitterer than Tuscan kale.

Fear not!  When mixed all together the ingredients married nicely.  The mascarpone added a lovely creaminess; the toasted walnuts added a nutty note of flavor and crunch of texture.  It was quite good and we now have risotto for the next several days.  Funny no matter how much risotto you eat, there is still more.  I think it multiplies over night in the fridge.

Bon Appétit!

* Wikipedia

One comment on “Crispy Grilled Kale and Pancetta Risotto

  1. I wouldn’t of wasted the pancetta either. Just cook it all and throw it in!! You can’t over do it. 🙂

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