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Ruby Chard

How stunning is this bright red ruby chard from Fallon & Byrne?  I just love the deep, scarlett colour of the stalks.  Not having a clue as to what to cook it with, I tweeted Fallon & Byrne who promptly replied recommending that it goes very well in risottos, particularly with pine nuts and parmesan.  I duly went about making a warm, comforting, autumnal risotto to usher in the long dark nights ahead.

I have to say it turned out rather delicious and very pretty too.  The chard had the usual earthy flavour and it worked well with the pancetta, parmesan and garlic.  I didn’t use any pine nuts as there was enough going on already, but I imagine they would work equally well.

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To make it, I browned some pancetta cubes until they were suitably crispy and golden.  I then sautéed the stalks of the chard with some olive oil, garlic and onion, all finely diced.

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Next I added the risotto rice and a splash of white wine.  I started adding hot chicken stock (made with a great quality Spanish stock cube), ladleful by ladleful, carefully stirring to encourage the rice to release its starch.

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I kept adding the stock and stirring it regularly for about 20 minutes until the rice was creamy and just soft enough to eat.  I then added lots of black pepper and the chopped leafy green parts of the chard, which only took a minute to wilt.

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Finally I added plenty of freshly grated parmesan and a bit more black pepper and served it up straight away.

Here is the finished dish:

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It was oozy and cosy-making the way any good risotto should be and I’ll definitely be making it again soon.  What do you think? Would you have done anything differently?  Has it inspired you to give the recipe a go?  I haven’t given specific measurements for this recipe as I didn’t keep track and it was a bit improvised.  This made enough for two and if anyone wants more specific instructions, be sure to let me know in the comments below.

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