bitter rice with Carolina gold rice

Meet bitter rice, a dish that you will certainly not be bitter about! It plays nice with saffron for a floral flavor, white wine for a tangy taste, and mascarpone for crave-worthy creaminess. I love using Dak's spices black pepper, it provides a kick and just the right texture. The long herb pictured is stridolo, a locally harvested herb that is native to Mediterranean regions. It has a mildly bitter taste when raw. It is precious, and honestly, I LOVE it. Here is how to make it.

Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

Carolina gold rice bitter rice
bitter rice

3 tablespoons olive oil (I use Olinda )

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste (I use Dak's pepper)

1 cup Carolina gold rice

1 small pinch of saffron

1 cup dry white wine

2-3 cups low sodium chicken stock

1-2 cups freshly grated parmesan

A handful (about 1/3 cup) of dried fruit (for example, cranberries, diced dried Turkish figs, diced dried apricots)

4 tablespoons butter or mascarpone (mascarpone is extra creamy!)

1/2 a small head of radicchio, thinly chopped Zest and juice of one lemon

2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts to garnish, optional

Herbs (for example parsley) to garnish, optional


Place a medium Dutch oven or other large pot over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil, shallots, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the shallots are soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Watch your garlic, as it is sneaky and likes to burn quickly.

Add the rice and saffron and stir to combine and to coat the rice in the flavorful oil. Toast the rice for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the white wine to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid is absorbed. When the wine is absorbed, reduce the heat to medium-low and begin adding the broth 3/4 cup at a time, stirring often between additions (to release the starches) and waiting until the broth is almost entirely absorbed before incorporating the next addition. This will take about 25 minutes total.

When the last addition is almost absorbed but there's still a thick liquid surrounding the rice, stir in the Parmesan, dried fruit, butter or mascarpone, radicchio, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Stir until the cheese and butter or mascarpone are melted and the radicchio is wilted. The mixture should be creamy; add a bit more broth as needed to achieve the desired consistency. Stir in lemon juice and lemon zest. Serve with additional grated Parmesan and toasted pine nuts if desired.

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