Escarole and Parmesan Risotto

Makes 4 servings

3 1/2 cups regular or low sodium vegetable broth
2 teaspoons butter, plus 1 tablespoon
2 teaspoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 shallot, diced
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
4-5 packed cups escarole, thinly sliced, divided
The zest and juice of 1/2 of a medium lemon
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring broth to a simmer.

2. For the risotto, heat two teaspoons butter and two teaspoons olive oil in a wide, shallow, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add diced shallot and saute 3 minutes, or until tender and translucent. Add the rice and toast for 1 to 2 minutes, or until slightly translucent. Add the wine and stir until it has evaporated. Add 3 cups escarole and a couple of pinches of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir well. Cook the risotto at a slow simmer, adding heated broth a half-cup at a time. Stir occasionally, making sure the risotto absorbs the liquid before adding more. Use slightly more or less broth as needed. Continue cooking in this manner for 18 to 20 minutes. Near the end of the cooking process, stir in the remaining escarole and lemon zest and juice; season with more salt and black pepper. Taste the risotto — it should be creamy and thick. It's best al dente, which means it should be fully cooked, yet still retain some firmness when you chew it.

3. When the risotto is cooked, turn off heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of butter and 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Serve risotto on warm plates and sprinkle with extra grated cheese and, if desired, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve immediately.

Recipe created by Susan Russo of Food Blogga.