Recipe: Ham and Parsley Risotto

I keep finding blades of glistening green plastic “grass” here and there that the kids have strewn about in their search for the remaining nibbles at the bottom of their baskets—signs the most recent holiday is mostly a memory (and I need to put away the baskets and “grass”!) If you have Easter ham in the fridge or freezer, chef and caterer Serena Bass, who contributed this recipe to Real Food, noted that this is her favorite use for leftover ham—and it’s also a great way to use any ham that goes on sale post-holiday. Perhaps top off the meal with a few lingering malted milk eggs or a handful of jellybeans!

Ham and Parsley Risotto

Makes 4 servings

6 to 7 c. chicken stock
6 tbsp. (¾ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 c. yellow onion, finely diced
½ tsp. salt
1¼ c. Arborio rice
½ c. Sauvignon Blanc
8 oz. ham, cut in 2-by-¼-inch strips (trim off any glaze)
1/3 c. flat-leaf parsley, minced and lightly packed, plus more for dusting
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/3 c. Parmesan, freshly grated, plus more for dusting
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Add stock to a deep saucepan and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and keep very hot.

Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a heavy-based pan over medium heat. Add onion and salt. Cook without browning, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 8 minutes.

Add rice and stir 2 minutes. Add wine and 1½ cups stock. Stir constantly until liquid is absorbed. Add stock in ½-cup increments and stir through rice firmly, only adding more when last addition has been absorbed. Continue stirring and adding stock until rice is cooked, 30 to 35 minutes. Check center of a grain for tenderness. If still hard, continue adding stock until rice is fully cooked.

Just as rice is done cooking, add ham, parsley, and lemon juice, and stir a little less vigorously so ham doesn’t break up. Add remaining butter and Parmesan and stir through quickly. Check density of risotto and, if needed, add ¼ cup stock to create a more supple texture.

Serve within 5 minutes, dusted with pepper, parsley, and Parmesan.

Nutrition info Ham & Parsley Risotto (per serving): CALORIES 620 (251 from fat); FAT 28g (sat . 16g); CHOL 88mg; SODIUM 1556mg; CARB 58g; FIBER 1g; PROTEIN 30g

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Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine, and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.