We all love a cozy comfort meal, but you can get that same down-home feeling in an elevated dish suitable for special guests. At least, that’s the mindset behind the Carolina gold rice risotto served at Michelin-starred restaurant Le Jardinier in New York City.
“When I was a kid, I loved eating dishes that were rich and cheesy, like mac n cheese or fettuccine alfredo,” says executive chef Andrew Ayala. “This dish is nostalgic to me and reminds me of the levity of childhood, but is presented in an elevated version.”
Le Jardinier serves vegetable-centric dishes using hyper-local ingredients in seasonal rotation, and the recipe below is perfect for any cozy fall evening.
“The end result is heavenly,” chef adds. “A little tip from us that we like to use to help break the richness and give the dish some acid are pickled mild chilis, like Fresno chilis or Jimmy Nardello peppers, which are currently in season and easy to find. They are available in most grocery stores and our favorite farmers market in Union Square. They don’t come pickled; that’s something you’d have to do yourself and can be done ahead of time. We like to toast our rice so they don’t stick when cooking.”
This dish is hearty, beautiful to look at and sure to impress your family and friends—but it’s really not that difficult to recreate! Choose top-tier ingredients and let them shine through. You’re going to love it.
View this post on Instagram
Visit Le Jardinier in NYC and online for more delicious dishes and inspiration.
Photography by: Courtesy of Le Jardinier