Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Jerusalem Artichokes Risotto with Mascarpone Cheese

Risotto, like pasta, can be made with many ingredients. My favorite are always vegetarian. Recently, I have been cooking a lot of risottos as they are one of the few dishes that could make my picky kids happy.

When the other day I saw Jerusalem artichokes on the shelves of Harris Teeter I bought a bag of them with the idea of making this risotto. I thought that my kids probably would not try them alone but might accept them if I sneak them into a familiar and well-liked risotto.

Jerusalem artichokes are crunchy and have a quite neutral, slightly earthy and nutty flavor. They are very healthy owing, among others, to the high content of Vitamins B and C and, most importantly, very high level of the fiber called inulin, which is important for the health of the digestive tract and, it has been recently discovered, could usefully supplement weight-loss diets.

Jerusalem artichokes became one of my favorite vegetable discoveries. I have been experimenting with them a lot trying new recipes and including them into the old ones, as today's risotto.

I made this particular risotto with mascarpone cheese which I thought would nicely go with the taste of the artichokes. I finished it with broccoli sprouts that gave extra sharpness to the taste of the risotto and augmented the A, B, C, E, and K vitamin content.

Jerusalem Artichokes Risotto
(Serves 4–6)


3/4 lb Jerusalem artichokes,
1 tbsp lemon juice,
1 and 1/2 cup Arborio rice, or any risotto type rice,
3 shallots, peeled and chopped,
2 tbsp butter,
2 tbsp olive oil,
1/2 cup dry white wine,
4 cups vegetable stock,
2 tbsp mascarpone cheese,
6 tbsp radish sprouts, or chopped Italian parsley,


1. Peel off the artichokes using a vegetable peeler and place them in a bowl with water and lemon juice to prevent from discoloration.
2. Heat olive oil and butter in a large heavy duty frying pan. Add chopped shallots and fry over the medium heat for about 2 minutes.
3. Drain the artichokes, slice them, and then cut them into thick matchsticks. Add to the pan with shallots and fry together for about 5 minutes, until shallots are soft.

4. Add rice and cook on a medium heat, stirring for another minute until coated in vegetable ingredients and slightly toasted.
5. Pour in wine stirring continuously until wine almost evaporates.
6. Heat the vegetable stock in a separate pot and keep it hot. Add about half a cup of stock to the rice stirring continuously until mostly absorbed. Keep adding stock (about half a cup each time), stirring and letting each portion of stock to be absorbed before adding the next. At the end, rice should be cooked but chewy.
7. At last, add mascarpone cheese and mix. Season with salt if needed and freshly ground pepper. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let it stand briefly before serving.

Serve sprinkled with radish sprouts or parsley.

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