Risotto alla bietola- Swiss chard risotto

Risotto preparation might seems a little complicated; with a little practice you’ll develop the “eye” for the right consistency…here are my tips for the perfect risotto:

1. choose the right riso type: Arborio is my favourite because it naturally gives a creamy texture…without having to add cream or butter.

2. add one cup of broth or boiling water at a time and stir frequently- if you add too much water altogether risotto won’t be as flavourful, if you add too little or leave it unattended it will stick to the pan causing a lot of frustration.

3. be generous with olive oil (I personally don’t use butter) and parmigiano but be judicious with salt: if using broth instead of boiling water, reduce the salt and consider that parmigiano is quite salty. You can always adjust salt half way through.

This is the recipe for my risotto with bietola- bietola or swiss chard is very low in calories and fats and rich in iron, vitamin A, C, K and carotenes.


3-4 tbsp Gaia’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 bunch of swiss chard bietola
1 small onion
1 cup of tomato sauce- (or strained tomato puree)
salt, cayenne peppe to taste                                                                                                                                                                                                                   160 gr. rice- Arborio type
grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

It serves 2 very hungry or 3 medium hungry

Sautee the chopped onion and bietola stalks in olive oil; keep it covered at medium heat until onions are soft.

Add the roughly cut bietola and 1/2 tsp of kosher salt; stir it for 2-3 minutes at medium heat. In the meantime bring water to boil (you can use a kettle).

Add ½ cup of tomato sauce, stir and cover- medium heat for 5minutes. Then add rice, stir it for 1 min and start adding boiling water 1 cup at the time.

Wait until the water is almost all absorbed before adding the next cup of boiling water and continue until rice is fully cooked (follow cooking time on the package). It’s important that you keep the pot uncovered, medium-high heat and stir often to avoid the rice sticking to the pot. When you are half way through, adjust salt and add a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Once rice is fully cooked (should still be moist), turn off the pot, add grated parmigiano and cover it for 2 minutes. Serve with a good glass of Chianti!