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posted: 1/16/2012 3:35 PM

Radish Risotto

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2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 large shallots, finely chopped (⅔ cup)

1 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1 pound Hilds Blauer or Misato Rose (watermelon) radishes, cut into -inch cubes

1 teaspoons sea salt

1 cup short-grain Italian rice, such arborio, carnaroli or Vialone Nano

⅓ cup dry white wine

4-4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, kept warm over low heat (see note)

cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for garnish

teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

Cracked black pepper

Heat the butter and oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the shallots and cook for about 5 minutes, until golden, then add the thyme and garlic; cook for 2 minutes, then add the radishes and salt, stirring to incorporate. Cook for about 3 minutes, until lightly browned, then add the rice; cook for a minute or so, stirring, so the rice is evenly coated and toasts a bit.

Stir in the wine and cook for a few minutes, then begin to add the broth a ladleful at a time, stirring after each addition, until it is mostly absorbed. This should take about 20 minutes, and the rice should be creamy and tender. (You may have cup of the warm broth left over.)

Stir in the cheese and white pepper; remove from the heat and let the risotto rest for 2 minutes.

Divide among individual bowls; season each portion with cracked black pepper to taste. Pass more Parmigiano-Reggiano at the table.

Serves four.

Cook's notes: Winter radishes are sturdy enough to stand up to long cooking; in this risotto, they turn just tender and infuse the rice's creamy sauce with a subtle, peppery sweetness. If you scrub the radishes but don't peel them, their skins will lend the risotto a pretty pastel hint of color. To make vegetable broth, combine 2 coarsely chopped carrots, 2 coarsely chopped medium radishes, tops from 1 bunch of leeks, 4 large parsley sprigs and 6 cups of water in a large saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and cook uncovered for 30 minutes. Strain, discarding the solids. Cool before storing.

@Recipe nutrition:Nutrition values per serving: 420 calories, 16 g fat (7 g saturated), 55 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 11 g protein, 25 mg cholesterol, 1400 mg sodium.

Emily Horton for The Washington Post

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