Orzo Risotto with Swiss Chard and Fontina


This faux risotto with earthy Swiss chard and melted cheese is an easy vegetarian dish. Adding a salad makes it into a meal.Plus: Pasta Recipes and Tips



  • 2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock or canned low-sodium broth

  • 2 1/2 cups water

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 1 3/4 cups orzo (3/4 pound)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced

  • 1 pound red Swiss chard, stems trimmed and finely chopped, leaves coarsely chopped

  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar

  • 5 ounces imported Fontina cheese, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 cup)

  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (3 ounces)

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Bring the chicken stock and water to a simmer in a saucepan; keep warm over low heat. Melt the butter in a medium nonstick saucepan. Add the orzo to the butter and cook over moderately high heat, stirring often, until the orzo is golden, about 8 minutes. Add 1 cup of the hot stock mixture and cook, stirring gently, until all of the stock is absorbed. Gradually add more of the stock mixture, 1 cup at a time, and cook, stirring frequently, until the orzo is al dente and creamy but not soupy, about 20 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add the shallot and Swiss chard stems and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the stems are tender and lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Add the chard leaves and cook over moderately high heat, tossing, until the leaves are wilted, about 2 minutes. Add the vinegar. Stir the chard and the Fontina and Parmesan cheeses into the risotto, season with salt and pepper and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Savory Swiss chard and nutty Fontina will pair successfully with a crisp, lean Soave from Italy.

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