For our series on cooking for one, we spoke to the lovely Klancy Miller, author of Cooking Solo. “I cook alone three or four nights a week, and I like that I can make exactly what I’m craving,” she says. “I always sit at my table, instead of standing up. I use nice plates, put on music and light a candle.” Here, she shares a recipe for lemony kale risotto (which would make delicious leftovers!) and a tip for embracing solo dining…
Lemony Kale Risotto
From Klancy Miller’s Cooking Solo
Makes 4 servings
2 tbsp plus 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
3⁄4 cup diced onion
1 cup Arborio rice
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup white wine
1⁄2 cup plus 4 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
1⁄2 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups thinly sliced kale leaves (thick ribs discarded)
Grated zest of 1 lemon
In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rice, stir to coat it with olive oil, and cook until the grains are slightly translucent, about 4 minutes.
Stir in 1 cup of the stock and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Add the wine and adjust the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook, stirring constantly, until the rice absorbs all the liquid. Add the remaining 1 cup stock and cook, still stirring, until the rice becomes tender and creamy, 25 to 30 minutes total.
Stir in 1⁄2 cup of the Parmesan, the salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Simmer for 5 more minutes.
While the risotto finishes, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, tilting the pan to coat the bottom. Add the kale and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted and bright green, 2 to 3 minutes.
Sprinkle one-quarter of the remaining parmesan cheese over each portion and add a little lemon zest on top. Arrange the kale over the risotto. Serve hot.
Klancy’s advice for enjoying cooking for yourself? “Find recipes for things that you know you like, but keep it simple. Then embrace the process: Get excited to pick out ingredients at the grocery store, listen to a podcast or your favorite music while you cook, and make a night of it. We should all treat ourselves well — we’re just as worthy of our own attention and kindness as our friends and partners.”
Thank you so much, Klancy! We love your cooking philosophy.