Risotto with Cima di Rapa

Cima di rapa, or otherwise known as broccoli raab, is a tricky ingredient for many. It is naturally quite bitter – a bit too much for most. But you shouldn’t be too quick to dismiss this healthy member of the turnip family.

Essentially turnip greens, this plant is often used in Southern Italian dishes, where it thrives during the cooler fall and winter months. The trick in taming the natural bitter components lies within the other ingredients used – namely something salty, fatty and slightly acidic. These other tastes work to balance the sensation of bitter in the mouth…especially the salty bits.

Risotto preparations are a natural for cima di rapa. The creaminess of the starches released by the rice work with the added fat of extra virgin olive oil to coat the mouth. A punch of acid from the white wine and a nice dose of salt form the other elements complement the bitter notes of the cima di rapa. The result? Well, in my opinion, it is difficult to refrain from grabbing a second helping!

Yield:  enough for about 6-8 servings

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