Piquillo Stuffed Peppers With Saffron Risotto

Serves 4.

Note: Piquillo peppers are roasted and packed into jars for sale, available at many supermarkets. Roasted red peppers in a jar could be substituted. From Gavin Kaysen, executive chef at Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis.

12 piquillo peppers (see Note)

• 6 c. vegetable stock or water

• Pinch of saffron

1/2 onion, finely diced, plus 1 onion, sliced julienne-style, divided

• 3 tbsp. olive oil, divided

• 1/4 c. white wine

• 2 c. Arborio or carnaroli rice

• Salt and pepper

• 2 tbsp. butter

• 1/2 c. grated Parmesan

• 6 garlic cloves, sliced thinly

2 bunches of kale, stems removed and leaves roughly chopped

• 15 cherry tomatoes, halved


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drain peppers.

In a pot over medium heat, simmer stock with saffron. Continue to simmer while preparing risotto.

In a separate pot over medium heat, sweat diced onions with 1 tablespoon olive oil for about 3 minutes (do not let them brown). Add wine and simmer until it has mostly evaporated. Add rice and toast for 1 minute, or until fragrant.

Slowly add 1 ladleful of hot stock into the rice, stirring until stock is almost absorbed. Repeat with remaining hot stock, ladle by ladle, until rice is tender and looks creamy, about 10 to 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and add butter and Parmesan. Set aside to cool.

In a deep, ovenproof sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons oil and sauté onion slices until translucent. Add garlic and sauté until soft. Add kale and sauté until leaves wilt. Then add tomatoes, and salt to taste, and sauté for another 5 minutes. Set aside.

Stuff peppers with risotto (some rice will be left over) and place stuffed peppers atop the kale mixture in the pan. Roast in oven for 8 to 10 minutes.