Chestnut and Bacon Risotto with Savoy Cabbage

This combination is so autumnal. Roast your own chestnuts if you wish or you can buy cooked vacuum-packed chestnuts at specialty stores. This is rich, filling risotto and should be served as an appetizer.


3 cups (750 mL) chicken stock
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
3½ oz (105 g) side bacon cut into 1/8 x 1-inch (3-mm x 2.5-cm) pieces
1 small onion, finely diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
¾ cup (175 g) arborio rice
2 tbsp (25 mL) dry vermouth
7 oz (200 g) cooked chestnuts
1 cup (250 mL) Savoy cabbage, finely shredded
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp (15 mL) unsalted butter
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated


1. Pour the chicken stock into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Add the bacon, onion and celery, cooking gently until the onion is translucent and the bacon is cooked. Add the rice and stir so that the rice becomes coated in the oil.

2. Add the vermouth and stir until the rice has absorbed all the liquid. Now add a ladleful of stock and continue to stir until all the liquid has been absorbed. Continue this process for 15 minutes, adding stock by the ladleful. Then add the chestnuts and cabbage and continue to cook, adding stock by the ladleful until all the rice is creamy but still has bite - about another 5 minutes.

3. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the butter. Divide between serving bowls and pass the Parmesan cheese.

You may be interested to read Cooking with Chestnuts