4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium canned chicken broth
4 tablespoons olive oil
½ pound rapini
¼ large red onion
1 cup arborio rice (see note)
¼ cup dry white wine or vermouth
3 tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
¼ red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon butter
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Place the stock in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat.
After washing the rapini well, trim ends and discard. With rapini bundled together, cut off lower stalks where the leaves begin and then cut stalks crosswise into small rounds about Z,-inch thick. Add cut-up stalks to olive oil and saute, stirring occasionally, for a minute or so, while you chop the onion finely. Add the onion to the pan and saute another couple of minutes, until softened.
Meanwhile, cut the remaining leafy rapini stalks crosswise at intervals of about an inch and set aside.
To the rapini and onions in the pan, add the rice and stir until all the grains are coated with the oil, about 1 minute. Add the wine and the lemon juice and simmer, stirring, until liquid is absorbed; then ladle in about a cup of the simmering stock from the other saucepan. Add the salt and cook at a simmer, stirring frequently, until the rice has absorbed almost all the liquid. Add the cut-up leafy rapini stalks and another ½ cup or so of stock, and continue to simmer. Stir frequently and add more stock, about ½ cup at a time, each time the rice has absorbed almost all the liquid and is threatening to stick. When the rice is ready, it will be creamy and a little soupy; the rice grains should retain a little bit of resistance to the tooth at their center. Cooking time for the rice will be 20 to 30 minutes.
Just before serving, stir in the red bell pepper slices, grated cheese, lemon zest, butter and pepper to taste; add more salt if necessary. Serve immediately in warmed soup bowls or plates.
Yield: Serves 4.
Note: For a healthy version, substitute brown rice.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 449 calories, 23 grams fat, 44 grams carbohydrates, 24 grams protein, 23 milligrams cholesterol, 987 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber, 43 percent of calories from fat.
3 cups quick-cooking brown rice
1 cup frozen peas
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 chicken breasts (about 4 ounces each), diced
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 ounces fully cooked smoked turkey sausage, sliced
1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
¼ teaspoon saffron threads
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ to ½ teaspoon hot seasoning sauce, optional
8 ounces medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Prepare brown rice according to package directions. When rice is removed from heat, stir in peas, cover and allow to stand 5 minutes.
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is done. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside. Add onion and garlic to skillet and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Add sausage to skillet and heat through.
Stir in tomatoes, spices and seasonings; bring to a simmer. Add shrimp to tomato mixture; cover and cook over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes until shrimp is done. Stir in chicken and brown rice.
Yield: Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 437 calories (15 percent from fat), 7 grams total fat (2 grams saturated), 94 milligrams cholesterol, 67 grams carbohydrates, 26 grams protein, 352 milligrams sodium, 6 grams dietary fiber.