This recipe is part of my new Cooking for One series. On the first Sunday/Monday of each month, I’ll post a simple yet satisfying meal that is perfectly portioned for people cooking for themselves.

Risotto is Shawn’s favorite, but I cook it for myself from time to time as well. It may seem like a fussy dish, but if you use a pan with plenty of surface area, a single-sized portion cools up in no time.

The last few weeks have been cold and damp, and I’ve been craving comfort food. I came up with this recipe one rainy night when I hadn’t been to the grocery store and didn’t feel like leaving the house..Luckily, I know that as long as I have risotto rice in the cabinet, a satisfying meal is never far away!

Kale has been one of my favorite risotto mix-ins lately – it contributes a deep, earthy flavor to the rice and breaks up the texture to keep the dish from being too dense. I really love the way it paired with the crispy bacon in this recipe! Crowned with a runny yolked fried egg, this was easy enough to make for myself and delicious enough to serve to a crowd. It was a great reminder that just because I’m stuck cooking for just myself some nights, it doesn’t mean I can’t eat well!

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Bacon & Kale Risotto with a Fried Egg

Yields 1 Serving

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This risotto is made of simple pantry staples, but it’s full of rich and satisfying flavor. If you don’t have kale, a different hearty green such as chard or collard greens can be used instead. In a pinch, you could even use spinach, although the flavor of the final dish will be a little brighter and less earthy. Water is fine for cooking the rice, but vegetable stock adds more flavor – I keep a jar of Better than Bouillon organic vegetable base in the fridge for recipes like this. As written, this recipe serves one but it can easily be doubled or tripled if you need more servings.

Ingredients

  • 1 slice thick-cut Bacon
  • 2 cups Vegetable Stock, or water
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped Onion
  • 1/2 cup Arborio Rice, or other medium-grain risotto rice
  • 1/4 cup White Wine
  • 2 cups loosely packed Kale, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Butter
  • 1 large Egg
  • Coarse salt and freshly cracked Black Pepper for serving

Preparation

  1. Place the bacon in cool skillet set over medium-low heat. Cook, allowing the fat to slowly render out of the bacon, for 8-10 minutes, or until crisp. Remove the bacon and let drain on a paper towel. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the rendered fat (or save the fat for another use).
  2. Bring the vegetable stock or water to a simmer in a small saucepan set over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low to keep warm.
  3. Add the chopped onion to the skillet with the reserved bacon fat. Cook the onion over medium heat until soft – about 5 minutes. Add the rice to the skillet. Stir so that each grain of rice is coated with bacon fat/ onion – the rice will appear glossy. Cook the rice for 3-4 minutes, or until it is translucent. Stir in the wine, scraping up any bits that have hardened in the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add 1 cup of the warm stock. Stir constantly until all of the stock has absorbed into the rice. Continue this process, adding the stock 1/4 cup at a time, until the rice is creamy and soft – the whole process will take about 20 minutes.
  5. Crumble the bacon. Stir the bacon and kale into the risotto – the heat from the rice will wilt the kale and it will be easier to stir in after a few minutes.
  6. Heat the butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted, crack in the egg. Cook until the whites of the egg are just set (3-4 minutes). Serve the risotto on a plate topped with the fried egg. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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