Sunchoke Risotto

Sunchoke Risotto

Also known as Jerusalem artichokes, sunchokes impart a subtle taste not unlike their namesake’s to this creamy, golden risotto. Even when thoroughly cooked, sunchokes provide a bit of fresh-tasting crunchiness to any recipe. Here fresh green chives add a lovely visual aspect. This classic risotto, distinguished by the use of sparkling wine in place of flat, which delivers a delicate twist on the palate, makes a fine first course or a light main course.

Arborio rice is a short-grained Italian rice named for the town where it is grown. Blessed with a high starch content, it is particularly creamy and chewy—two characteristics that make it an ideal flavor vector. Arborio rice is widely available in specialty food shops and most fine supermarkets.

You’ll have more than a half-bottle of bubbly left after cooking, so keep the rest chilled for drinking.

2 tbsp unsalted butter

1 1/2 lb/680 g sunchokes, peeled and thinly sliced

1 1/2 cups/360 ml heavy (whipping) cream/double cream

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

1 cup/215 g Arborio rice

4 1/2 cups/1 l Vegetable Stock (page XX) or canned low-sodium vegetable broth, plus more if needed

1 cup/240 ml sparkling wine such as Chandon Brut Classic

1/2 cup/60 g freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup/7 g minced fresh chives

Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a large sauté pan or frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the sunchokes, stir to coat evenly with the butter, and sauté until they begin to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Shake the pan occasionally to prevent burning. Add the cream and stir until it begins to simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sunchokes are tender and easily pierced with a fork, 30–35 minutes.

Transfer the creamed sunchokes to a blender or food processor, working in batches if necessary, and process to a very smooth purée. You should have about 2 cups/455 g sunchoke purée. Set aside.

In a large, deep sauté pan or a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and, using a wooden spoon, stir until the grains are evenly coated with the oil, 2–3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup/120 ml of the stock and cook, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Continue the process in 1/2-cup additions, alternating the stock and the wine, until all the wine has been absorbed. Add the remaining stock, still 1/2 cup at a time, until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender but still slightly firm at the center of each grain, about 30 minutes total. Add a little more stock to finish cooking the rice, if needed.

Add the sunchoke purée and Parmesan to the rice and stir to mix thoroughly. Cook, stirring, until the cheese melts and the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the chives. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Divide the risotto among warmed plates or pasta bowls. Garnish with additional pepper to taste and serve at once.

Serves 6 as a first course, 4 as a main course



Suggested wine pairing: 2001 etoile Tête de Cuvée