Risotto with Radish Greens and Anchovies

To my mind, risotto is not a dish unto itself but a palate awaiting whatever flavors and textures a cook cares to bring it. This unusual combination, loosely based on a recipe from the UK’s Good Food Channel, highlights the way that ingredients meld in a risotto yielding unexpected harmony. Do not be afraid of the anchovies. In this dish they are not even identifiable as fish but rather bring a touch of umami that enhances the whole. In place of radish greens you can use any spicy leaves such as arugula or mustard greens. And you can use any flavorful stock you have on hand—I used duck stock. Yes, I know, as does anyone who watches Chopped on the Food Network: Italians never use cheese and fish in the same dish. Well, I’m not Italian.



Stock, chicken or vegetable preferred

3 cups

750 milliliters

Olive oil

1 tablespoon

15 milliliters

Onion, 1 medium, chopped

4 ounces

100 grams

Garlic, 3 cloves, minced

½ ounce

16 grams

Dry vermouth or white wine

¼ cup

75 milliliters

Anchovies in oil, about five

1 ounce

28 grams

Arborio rice

1 cup

270 grams

Radish greens, coarsely chopped

1 cup

50 grams


1 tablespoon

15 grams

Parmesan, grated

¼ cup

30 grams

Salt and freshly ground pepper

to taste

to taste

Truffle oil (optional)

a few drops

a few drops

Caper, rinsed and drained

1 tablespoon

15 milliliters


Bring the stock to a boil then reduce heat and maintain at a simmer while preparing the risotto.

Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic until soft and translucent but not browned, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Add the anchovies to the pan and cook for a minute then add the rice. Stir to coat the grains with oil and fry for about 2 minutes or until they lose their chalky appearance. Add the vermouth and deglaze the bottom of the pan.

Ladle in about one quarter cup of stock and stir until the rice has nearly absorbed it. Add more stock a couple ounces at a time, stirring until nearly absorbed before the next addition. After having added about two cups of the stock begin checking the rice for doneness after each addition. It is done when the grains have lost their crunch but still retain a bit of “tooth.”

When the rice is nearly done, add the greens and cook for a couple minutes, stirring, until wilted. Fold in the butter and Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and black pepper then stir in the truffle oil if using. Stir in the capers and serve immediately.


One response to “Risotto with Radish Greens and Anchovies

  1. Karen August 17, 2012 at 20:26

    How did I manage to miss this post…the risotto sounds great. I won’t tell any Italians about the cheese.

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