Get Cooking: Risotto Verde St. Patrick

St. Patrick, we need you back, please.

Thanks, Paddy, for banishing the snakes, but might you also be able to deport so many of these green foods concocted this time of year in your, um, honor?

Green frosting, “emerald eggs” and ham, green velvet cake (gawd), and stuff such as bagels, donuts, pasta and popcorn tinted green for merely one day. Green beer, definitely. And the appletini.

Now, guacamole, grasshopper pie, pesto, mint chocolate chip brownies, even lime Jell-O — let’s ask St. Patrick to leave these in place. They are year-round deliciousness.

Alright. OK. Kale.

But to truly honor the eatin’ o’ the green, why not cook those foods that are viridescent naturally? Or — here’s a concept — that are delicious?

A unique risotto sells itself so. Colored vibrantly green from an abundance of herbs and field greens, its Italian name is “risotto verde” and is today’s recipe.

Everyone is “Irish” on March 17. Why not fashion a risotto such as this for La Festa di San Patrizio? (Is it a coincidence that the Irish and Italian flags are so similar? Huh?)

Cooks dislike preparing risotto because they fear being “pot-bound,” slave to 30 minutes of constant babysitting of the simmering rice, adding ladle after ladle of simmering broth, stirring, stirring, stirring. Not nice, that rice.

But I use an anti-helicopter, no-hover-over-the-stove way to cook risotto that I learned, in a roundabout manner, from watching my sister Christine cook Indian food. She washes her basmati rice four or five times before boiling it. Cleaning the rice kernels of their outer starch helps keep them fluffy and buoyant when done, rather than having them end up creamy and sticky.