Broccoli Rabe Risotto with Grilled Lemon


This vegetarian risotto is enriched with a flavorful broccoli rabe that's stirred in before serving. The method is a little simpler than the one for traditional risotto: instead of stirring in hot stock by the cupful, it's added in just two batches. Slideshow:  Risotto Recipes 

Broccoli Rabe Risotto with Grilled Lemon
Photo: © Con Poulos
Total Time:
1 hrs 15 mins


  • 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced crosswise

  • Olive oil, for brushing

  • 1/2 pound broccoli rabe, trimmed and cut into large pieces

  • 2 cups vegetable stock or low-sodium broth

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice (about 3/4 pound)

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped tarragon

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • Mascarpone, for serving


  1. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the lemon slices with oil and grill over high heat, turning once, until lightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool. Finely dice the lemon.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan of salted boiling water, blanch the broccoli rabe until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and cool under running water; drain again. Transfer the broccoli rabe to a food processor and puree until smooth. Scrape the puree into a measuring cup (you should have about 1 cup).

  3. In a medium saucepan, bring the vegetable stock and 2 cups of water just to a boil; keep warm. In a large saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. Add the onion, garlic and a generous pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until coated and opaque, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until absorbed, about 7 minutes. Add half of the warm vegetable stock and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until nearly absorbed, about 7 minutes. Add the remaining vegetable stock and cook, stirring, until nearly absorbed and the rice is al dente, 8 to 10 minutes longer.

  4. Stir the broccoli rabe puree into the risotto along with the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, tarragon, parsley and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Cook, stirring, until the risotto is creamy and heated through, about 3 minutes. Season the risotto with salt and pepper. Spoon into shallow bowls and top with the chopped grilled lemon and dollops of mascarpone.

Make Ahead

The broccoli rabe puree can be refrigerated overnight.

Suggested Pairing

Northern Italian white wines have a refreshing brightness that mitigates the bitterness of green vegetables.

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