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Red Russian kale risotto recipe image

Print Red Russian kale risotto

Red-stemmed with dark green leaves, red Russian kale is the sweetest of the kale types and works beautifully in this easy vegetarian risotto. You can run this recipe up in half an hour; the only effort required is a bit of stirring. Red Russian kale is less robust than other varieties: eat it within 3-4 days to enjoy it at its best.


  • 1 bag kale, (if using cavolo nero or curly kale, strip the leaves from the stalk, for red Russian, use the finely chopped stalks too)
  • 250ml white wine (optional, or use all stock)
  • 1 litre hot chicken or veg stock
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil for frying
  • 400g risotto rice
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Parmesan or Pecorino, grated, to serve
  • Salt & pepper


  1. In a pan of boiling water, blanch the kale for a couple of minutes, drain, refresh in a pan of cold water, drain again and keep to one side.
  2. Combine the wine (if using) and stock. Fry the onions, garlic and fennel seeds in the oil on a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir until well coated. Turn down the heat and start adding the liquid.
  3. Keep stirring and adding the liquid as it is absorbed by the rice. After about 10-15 minutes add the kale. When all the liquid has gone or the rice is done (whichever is sooner) add a splash of balsamic vinegar. Season to taste. Stir in some grated Parmesan to serve.
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