Sweet Brown Rice Risotto with Kale and Cremini


“Despite its name, sweet brown rice isn’t sweet,” says chef Marco Canora. Instead, this short-grain glutinous rice resembles whole-grain sushi rice. Here, Canora uses it to make a hearty vegetarian risotto. Slideshow:  More Risotto Recipes 

Sweet Brown Rice Risotto with Kale and Cremini
Photo: © Con Poulos
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 15 mins
6 to 8


  • 1 quart mushroom broth

  • 1 quart vegetable broth

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced

  • Fine sea salt

  • Pepper

  • 3/4 pound Tuscan kale, stemmed, leaves chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 yellow onion, minced

  • 2 cups sweet brown rice

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme

  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving


  1. In a saucepan, mix the mushroom and vegetable broths and bring to a simmer; keep warm.

  2. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

  3. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the casserole. Add the kale and cook over moderate heat until wilted, 3 minutes. Add the kale to the mushrooms.

  4. In the casserole, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir until coated with oil and lightly toasted, 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until evaporated. Add 2 cups of the hot broth, cover partially and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the broth has been absorbed, 10 minutes. Repeat with another 2 cups of broth.

  5. Add 3 cups of the broth, 1 cup at a time, and cook, stirring often, until it is mostly absorbed between additions, about 15 minutes total. Add the last cup of broth, the mushrooms, kale, thyme, 1/3 cup of cheese and the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Cook, stirring, until the risotto is creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with oil and serve with cheese.

Suggested Pairing

Juicy Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is extremely versatile, as good with roast chicken as it is with this risotto.

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