The point of this rice dish is to add fresh, green spring vegetables to the dish. The result is creamy, rich rice brightened up with the green things. I used Sierra Nevada wild onions and wild fennel, but any green onion, as well as chopped green leafy thing will work. You might also want to toss in some fresh peas or fresh green fava beans. For the onions, you need to separate the white parts and the green parts, and you need about 1/3 to 1/2 cup chopped white parts.
Course: Side Dish
Author: Hank Shaw
About 2 dozen wild onions, white and green parts separated
Heat 3 tablespoons of the butter in a pot over medium heat. Cook the white parts of the onion in the butter gently, stirring often, until they are soft but not browned, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter. Cook over medium-high heat a couple minutes, until the rice gets a little bit translucent.
Add the white wine and stir well. Sprinkle some salt over everything. From this point you need to stir pretty much constantly. When the wine has almost boiled away, add the chicken broth and repeat the process.
When the chicken broth has almost boiled away, add a cup of water and repeat the stirring while the moisture boils away. You will likely need to do this at least 2 more times. Taste the rice after the second cup of water has mostly boiled away and add salt if needed. You want the rice to be al dente, not mushy.
When the rice is almost done, stir in the chopped greens and the chopped green parts of the onions. Add a little more water -- you want the rice to be almost like oatmeal in consistency, more of a porridge than set-up rice. Add the fennel fronds and the grated cheese.
Finally, right before you serve, stir in the final tablespoon of butter and adjust with a little more water if need be to loosen up the rice. Serve at once.
I serve this as a vegetarian main course, but it's also a good side dish for grilled meats or fish. If you're looking for something to drink with it, go with a white wine or a Belgian wit.