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RECIPE: Romantic risotto from The Abundant Kitchen

Need recipe ideas for Valentine's day?

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — Becki Melvie of Abundant Kitchen will be showing viewers how to create a delicious risotto dinner for Valentine's Day. 

She’ll show you how to use up leftover risotto by making arancini with tomato fondue. 

Risotto with Kale

*Serves 6

  • 4 1/3 - 5 1/2 cups broth chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 14oz Arborio rice
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano is best)
  • sea salt
  • ½ cup blanched kale, chopped

First bring the broth or stock to the boil, turn down the heat and keep it simmering. Melt the 2 tablespoons butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan with the oil, add the onion and sweat over a gentle heat for 4-5 minutes, until soft but not colored. Add the rice and stir until well coated. Cook for a minute or so and then add generous 1/2 cup of the simmering broth, stir continuously and as soon as the liquid is absorbed add another generous 1/2 cup of broth. Continue to cook, stirring continuously. The heat should be brisk, but on the other hand if it’s too hot the rice will be soft outside but still chewy inside. If it’s too slow, the rice will be gluey. It’s difficult to know which is worse, so the trick is to regulate the heat so that the rice bubbles continuously. The risotto should take about 25-30 minutes to cook. Add kale in during last 5 minutes of cooking.

When it is cooking for about 20 minutes, add broth at about 4 tablespoons at a time. I use a small ladle. Watch it very carefully from there on. The risotto is done when the rice is cooked but is still ever so slightly 'al dente'It should be soft and creamy and quite loose, rather than thick. The moment you are happy with the texture, stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and Parmesan cheese, taste and add more salt if necessary. Serve immediately.

Risotto does not benefit from hanging around – the texture should be soft and flowing.


Leftover risotto is used up in these fried rice croquettes.

  • Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 2 large eggs, beaten to blend
  • 2 cups Risotto with Kale, recipe follows, cooled
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 1/2 cups dried Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 2 ounces mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Salt
  1. Pour enough oil in a heavy-bottom shallow fry pan to reach the depth of 3 inches. Heat the oil over medium heat to 350 degrees F.
  2. Stir the eggs, risotto, Parmesan, and 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs in a large bowl to combine. Place the remaining breadcrumbs in a medium bowl. Using about 2 tablespoons of the risotto mixture for each, form the risotto mixture into 1 3/4-inch-diameter balls. Insert 1 cube of mozzarella into the center of each ball. Roll the balls in the bread crumbs to coat.
  3. Working in batches, add the rice balls to the hot ail and cook until brown and heated through, turning them as necessary, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the rice balls to paper towels to drain. Season with salt. Let rest 2 minutes. Serve with Tomato Fondue for dipping.

Tomato Fondue

Tomato fondue has a number of uses, we serve it as a sauce for pasta, filling for omelettes, topping for pizza.

*Serves 6 approximately

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 2 14oz cans tomatoes
  • salt, freshly ground pepper
  • sugar to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of any of the following; freshly chopped mint, thyme, parsley, lemon balm, marjoram or torn basil

Heat the oil in a stainless steel sauté pan. Add the sliced onions and garlic toss until coated, cover and sweat on a gentle heat until soft but not colored – about 10 minutes. It is vital for the success of this dish that the onions are completely soft before the tomatoes are added. Add tomatoes with all the juice to the onions. Season with salt, freshly ground pepper and sugar. Add a generous sprinkling of herbs. Cover and cook for just 10-20 minutes more, or until the tomato softens, uncover and reduce a little.

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