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.
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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
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….