Red Chard, Red Wine, Sausage  Risotto; potager surrenders to winter

My potager is closed for the winter.

I managed to keep it productive for much longer than usual this year.

Strangely, I’ve been picking enough green beans every day for the last month to feed the village – more than I picked at the height of summer.

They had been doing so poorly I was going to pull them out in September. I got sidetracked for whatever reason and was amply rewarded for my neglect.

The chard also came back to life and I was seriously thinking about leaving it in and using it all winter. For some reason the red chard really liked the cooler fall temperatures.

Red Chard

I was inspired to make an all red risotto – red wine, red onion, red chard….

The chard turned dark green when I cooked it.

The best laid plans…..

Red Chard, Red Wine Sausage  Risotto

Total time: 30 minutes


  • 2/3 cup (4.2oz, 125gr) Arborio rice (or other rice specifically for risotto – Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)
  • 1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) red wine
  • 2 cups (16oz, 480ml) beef broth
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (2oz, 60gr) Parmesan cheese – freshly grated
  • Condimenti:
  • 6oz (180gr) sausages, any flavor, sliced
  • 5oz (150gr) red chard, leaves sliced and stems chopped, keep separate
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp oregano

Red Chard, Red Wine Sausage Risptto


  • Heat beef broth and keep hot over low heat.
  • In medium saucepan heat oil over medium heat.
  • Add onion and sauté until transparent.
  • Add rice and sauté stirring, for 2 – 3 minutes until rice has white center.
  • Add red wine and stir.
  • Start condimenti.
  • When rice has absorbed most of the wine add a 1/3 cup of broth, stir.
  • When broth is almost absorbed add another 1/3 cup and continue adding 1/3 cup at a time and stirring. Before the last 1/3 cup taste a few kernels of rice. They should be just ‘al dente’ – slightly resistant to the tooth but fully cooked. If more broth is needed add it 1/6 cup at a time and waiting until almost completely absorbed.
  • At this point risotto will be thick but not stiff – there will still be visible liquid and it will not hold its shape on a plate.
  • Stir in the Parmesan and condimenti, pour into a bowl or risotto platter and serve immediately.  It will continue to absorb liquid and the leftovers (if any) will be very stiff.
  • Condimenti:
  • Sauté onion, celery, chard stems and sausage slices in medium skillet over medium heat until onion is tender and sausage cooked through. 
  • Add chard leaves, oregano and stir well until leaves are wilted.
  • Cover, reduce heat to low and keep warm until needed.

Print Recipe

I pulled the chard out yesterday as well. Apparently there was an announcement made in the slimy gastropod world and they all moved onto my chard. When I went out to pick some earlier this week every leaf was full of holes – big holes.

I surrender to nature.

Here are a few more photos from the market and village we visited last weekend.

Wednesday was ‘Toussaint’, aka: All Saint’s Day. It’s the day that the cemeteries are decorated here in France. The most popular flower is the chrysanthemum. There are signs everywhere in October advertising ‘Fleurs de toussaint’.

These were left as the market was closing.

I’m always fascinated by village life…. when the walls are shared and the front door opens onto the street:

The cat is sitting by his front door, next to the potted plant which is by the little table and chair…. Morning coffee? Evening apéro? Chat with the neighbor?

The overhanging walls lean in or out depending on the building.

All of the windows have shutters, of course. Here I think it’s for privacy rather than keeping the sun out.

I’m not sure if I would like to live in one of these tiny streets.

I am sure I couldn’t do it with my big dogs….

Last update on November 3, 2017

4 thoughts on “Red Chard, Red Wine, Sausage  Risotto; potager surrenders to winter”

  1. Twice, I’ve sauteed red chard and it’s turned green. It was a disappointment the first time, a fact of life the second…

    When I mentioned my lone rose the other day, you commented that you’d cut all your roses back. So did I! This was a lone stem on an otherwise very bushy low growing plant. I have no idea why it chose to bloom. And it’s still there!

    I’m with you on the tiny streets. We’re now on acreage and I don’t think I could ever be very close to my neighbors again. Two dobes or none. It’s just so much nicer to not hear them in their daily lives, you know?

  2. How fun! We have chard with red ribs and green leaves. I wonder if it would turn out as pleasingly red in your red risotto. (Our chard suddenly went nuts when the night temperatures started to dip. It’s better than it ever was in the summer.)

  3. nightsmusic, I have rarely had neighbors or lived anywhere where I could walk to a store. The idea of living in town has always appealed to me – until I gave it serious thought and then, no, not possible. It might be fun for a week… maybe.

    kate, we would have to reduce the size of our dogs dramatically… or switch to cats. Your cat seems quite comfortable in town.

    Elizabeth, I had great hopes for our chard as a winter vegetable… Apparently so did the slugs and snails. They won. Sigh…

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