Another risotto story – Saffron risotto with dandelions, spinach and shiitake
Un’altra storia di risotto – Risotto allo zafferano, tarassaco, spinaci e funghi shiitake
Other names for dandelion or dente di leone, or even tarassaco, piscialetto (pee in bed) in Italian, pissenlit, dent de lion in French – that wonderful bitter green that grows into a beautiful yellow flower. As much as I love risotto, I rarely make it, probably because I never really developed a great relationship with rice. My mom would make seafood risotto or beans and rice once in a while but pasta was the most common dish. “Risotti” are Northern Italian dishes therefore not that popular in Central Italy, even though nowadays its popularity spread out beyond the Northern limits.
I am someone who eats about everything, thinking about it, I don’t think there is an ingredient I don’t eat…maybe one, yes one…sea cucumbers I ordered at a Chinese restaurant. I had no idea what it was exactly, I thought it was that long mollusk I have seen on some TV show (the guy who eats weird food) and that I thought I would eventually like. Well I was wrong, sea cucumber is something in between pork skin and jelly with a fish flavor, so I had to leave it on the table.
The world of risotto is so vast, and this is one version among others, you can explore it to the infinite, I will definitely play with it more often. I like mine colorful, creamy and velvety, one bite should slide in your palate like a caress. You can serve it on the runny side or on the thicker side (I kept mine a little thicker than usual because of the greens), but it cannot lose its creaminess which is the trickiest part for a great risotto.
The saffron adds a very nice pungent and refined flavor, and color too. The golden yellow color was so intense in the plate, contrasting beautifully with the greens…the more color, the better, but not any color…just the matching ones. I do believe in the aesthetic beauty of a dish, after all you devours it with the eyes first.
Ingredients for 2-3
- 7 oz (or 200 g) arborio rice
- 1 shallot
- 1 tbs butter (or olive oil)
- I dose saffron, infused in hot broth
- 1 cup white wine
- 2.5 cups or more vegetable broth
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1/2 bunch dandelions, washed and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 8 medium size shiitake mushrooms, cut in small pieces
- 2 tbs parmigiano reggiano, freshly grated
- salt and pepper
Heat olive oil or melt butter in a pot, add shallot and brown it. Add rice, stir a few minutes to coat it with the oil. Add wine and increase heat to make the wine evaporate faster. Reduce heat, then add broth gradually.
In the meantime, in a pan, heat 1 tsp olive oil, add garlic and saute dandelions and spinach, saute until tender, adjust with salt and pepper. Remove from pan. Using the same pan, saute shiitake mushrooms in a little olive oil and garlic, salt and pepper. Keep hot.
When the rice is cooked, add parmesan cheese, and fold in the vegetables. Serve hot.
This entry was posted by silvia on May 4, 2010 at 7:36 am, and is filed under Rice. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0.You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.
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Risotto is so versatile, the lovely saffron gave it such a rich and beautiful color. I chuckled to myself about your experience with the sea cucumber, I personally do not care for it one bit but my mom LOVES it.
I love that you make exquisite risotto, so many times when people make it it always turns into a gummy mess. Yours looks magnifique!
Dandelion greens with spinach and shiitake — very creative, especially w/ the saffron. It looks gorgeous, too.
The creaminess and bold buttery colors of this risotto are just jumping off the page – it is absolutely gorgeous! I love all the flavors you’ve incorporated. I adore saffron and shiitake, and think the dandelion is so innovative in this dish! Beautiful!
Looks delicious. I never cooked with dandelions, but willing to try it. I love risotto of any kind.
That looks delicious. The great flavors of the saffron and the meaty texture of the shitake and creamy rissotto.yum…mouth watering
I love the color of the dish. I would devour it with my eyes. Saffron and shiitake mushrooms what an interesting combo. I am not a huge fan of risotto, but I would eat this one for sure. Great dish! Cheers!
I’ve never made risotto…this looks wonderful…
Hello ! What an interesting risotto idea – dandelion and shiitake. I have never tried dandelion. I love risotto, the first one I made, was with saffron. Looks tasty. Have a nice day!
Amazing, havent heard of anyone using dandelion in years now, we would pick wild ones in upstate ny as a kid! what a beautiful healthy bowl of risotto, would love to try a bowl of this
A very unique risotto, very nice with saffron and dandelions!
Thanks for this recipe, it looks like one I want to try!
look so good,my son likes very much risotto with saffron and parmigiano reggiano!
That is a mouthwatering photograph of risotto. I don’t think I have ever seen a photograph of risotto that showed such creamy lusciousness. I cannot wait to try your recipe. I am a risotto fan and a friend just brought some saffron back from a trip to India for me. I love the little bundle of it on top of the plated dish.
YUM YUM YUM! I miss making risotto. love all your flavours.
This looks so beautiful and rich. Maybe I should make risotto for dinner tonight.
J’adore l’idée de mettre des pissenlits dans le risotto; j’adore les pissenlits et au Liban on en fait un plat sublime et hyper simple avec de l’ail et de l’huile d’olive.
J’ai aussi vu sur un blog en France une recette de confiture de fleurs de pissenlits!
A part ça, je suis tout a fait d;accord avec toi, les americains exagèrent avec la cannelle; mais au Liban, on n’en mets que dans les plats salés, jamais dans les douceurs!
I’ve never worked with dandelion but the combination (and addition of saffron) looks simply divine!
I love the striking colors of your risotto – the green, the yellow and that red! I never tried cooking risotto at home. There is a similar kind of “wet rice” in Asian that, to me, resembles risotto.
Sea cucumbers dishes can vary widely in Chinese restaurants. I have eaten lousy ones that I would not even touch after one bite and have tried really delicious sea cucumbers, perfectly braised to melt-in-the-mouth texture. Don’t give up on sea cucumbers
Haha…I bet you thought the sea cucumber is something like cucumbers! I think your eyes turned big when the dish was served, right! haha… Oh dear! Anyway, this risotto looks absolutely stunning as always! You have a great day, dear!
p/s you must try the stew sea cucumber with meat next time!
What beautiful risotto! I love the addition of the dandelions–they just started showing up in our farmer’s market! I’ve used them in salads and breads before, but never risotto.
I love the idea of the dandelions. I ‘ve been wanting to cook some and this seems a perfect spring dish.
Hey Silvie, yum! I love that you made something so rich and delicious with a green as healthy as dandelion-that’s nice. Oh, and thanks for reminding me that I need saffron-been meaning to get some!
I haven’t eaten dandelions since I was a child. This reminded me of playing in a field of flowers and having fun with my best friend when I was 6.
This absolutely looks delicious. I love the idea of using dandelions!
this is lovely! it would be a great comfort food for me with such rich flavors.