You are currently viewing Recipe: Tuscan Kale Risotto with Mushrooms and Rosemary
Risotto is worth the time it takes to cook it slowly.

Recipe: Tuscan Kale Risotto with Mushrooms and Rosemary

It’s kale season, and we have (don’t gasp) 28 plants…or so…growing in the Gardenerd test garden; 10 different varieties to be specific. What can I say, we love kale! Here is the most recent recipe we tested out on the first chilly night of the season. You’ll love this Tuscan Kale Risotto with Mushrooms and Rosemary:

10 varieties of kale at the ready.
10 varieties of kale at the ready.

Here’s the recipe – warning – it uses a lot of pans:

Tuscan Kale Risotto with Mushrooms and Rosemary – Vegetarian Times, June 2016


  • 3 Tbs. Olive oil, divided
  • 5 oz (1/2 bunch) Tuscan or dinosaur kale, ribs removed, leaves and ribs chopped separately
  • 1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup dry white wine, divided
  • 8 oz. white mushrooms, chopped (2 cups)
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp. mascarpone cheese, optional
  • 3 TBS. unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onions, chopped (3 cups)
  • 1/2 head of celery, stalks finely chopped, leaves reserved (1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 cups brown Arborio rice
  • 6 1/4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, warmed
  • 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese


Get your broth ready on the stove in a pan. Bring it to a simmer in a medium saucepan to have on hand. In another medium saucepan with a lid, heat 1 Tbs. oil, then cook kale ribs for 2-3 minutes. Add the rest of the kale with 1/4 cup of wine, put on the lid and set aside after salting if desired.

Use a large skillet to heat 2 Tbs. oil and cook mushrooms and rosemary for 5-7 minutes until brown and tender. If you are planning to add the mascarpone, add it now. (We left it out because we didn’t have any on hand).

Prune rosemary after it finishes flowering
Rosemary adds depth of flavor to this dish.

Next, heat butter in your largest skillet with a lid or Dutch oven on medium heat. Cook onions and celery (we used frozen celery from last year’s harvest. It’s strong so we used much less than what was called for) 7-10 minutes until they are golden brown.

Add celery leaves (we didn’t have any since ours was frozen) and then add the rice. Stir to coat with butter and cook until rice is translucent. Add 1/3 cup of wine and stir until liquid is absorbed by the rice.

Now for the part that requires patience. Add broth, 1 cup at a time, and stir (constant stirring is not necessary) until the liquid is absorbed. Continue this for 30-40 minutes until all the broth is gone and rice is al dente.

Add kale, mushrooms, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine and cover. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Risotto is worth the time it takes to cook it slowly.
Risotto is worth the time it takes to cook it slowly.

Serve with a big salad and enjoy the fruits of your garden.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Susan

    I’ve been making risotto in my electric pressure cooker – makes it so much easier, you don’t have to stand around stirring and the result is great!
    Love reading your blogs, would like to see an update on your bees and your chickens. I have chickens, next on my list is bees.

    1. Christy

      Susan, that’s so cool. Do you adapt the recipe in any way or just throw all the ingredients in there? I’d love to try it but of course am afraid I’ll blow up the house.

      1. Susan

        Christy, the few Risotto recipes I’ve tried are written for the electric pressure cookers, so not sure how to adapt a non-pressure cooker recipe but it should be easy. I’ll have to look for some brown Arborio rice and try your recipe in the pressure cooked.
        A related question: How do you keep the aphids off your Kale? Even in this cold weather I have aphids. Thanks.

        1. Christy

          Aphids show up with they sense a weakness in the plant. The first thing I do is put down worm castings around each plant. The chitinase in the worm castings acts as a pest control to help ward off aphids and other sucking insects, plus it feeds the kale and boosts plant health. Then use a hose to blast off the critters daily until you see a reduction in activity. You can also import lady bugs but leave the aphids where they are so the lady bugs have something to eat. Otherwise they’ll leave.

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