Chard Stuffed With Risotto and Mozzarella

"Vegetarian and French, practically a contradiction in terms! Well, I actually discovered, when I opened the newspaper to the food section this morning, that there actually are recipes like that out there! This is a recipe from La Zucca Magica in Nice, France. Brought to us by Mark Bittman, the minimalist. When I make this I will make lower fat substitutions, but I've printed it as published."
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  • Cook rice in vegetable broth, starting with one cup; add broth in stages, using about 3 cups total, until rice is barely tender. Reserve unused broth. Dissolve saffron in juice of 1 lemon. Add to rice, along with butter, parmesan, zest of one lemon, salt and pepper, to taste. Allow rice to cool a bit. Recipe can be made up to an hour in advance at this point, but do not refrigerate rice.
  • Poach chard leaves in about 2 cups of remaining broth for about 30 seconds. Remove, drain in a dishcloth, and cut out hardest part of central stem. Reserve cooking broth.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. With wet hands form 6 balls of rice 2-3 inches across. Dig a hole in the ball and insert a piece of mozzarella. Wrap each ball in a chard leaf.
  • Put balls in a close-fitting oven pan, with enough reserved broth to come about a half-inch up sides of balls; bake 15 minutes. Serve balls topped with a little more broth, more lemon zest, parmesan and olive oil.

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<p>Clockwise from upper left, my dear friends Cranberry, Quincy, Kumquat and Kiwi. All of our cats were born in the wild and adopted by us. Zaar Chefs I have met so far: Elmotoo, justcallmeToni, ~Rita~, Midwest Maven, Bird&amp;Buddha (both of them) and most recently, Ms*Bindy from upstate New York:) Wonderful, sweet, friendly people and great chefs! Most relevant thing to mention here is that I am a vegetarian, and recently became a&nbsp;vegan&nbsp;(almost 100%). To put vegetables and other things not meat or fish on the table I work as an actuary (in my case anyway, a combination of statistician, number-cruncher and/or programmer). For fun I like to travel. Just came back from&nbsp;Namibia, a peaceful democracy in Africa with lots of animals! Got some terrific pictures of lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, rhinocerous, hyenas, all kinds of antelopes, giraffes and zebras. Namibia is the second most sparsely populated country per square mile, just behind Mongolia. Update:&nbsp; We went to Italy this Spring.&nbsp; We had lots of pizza and pasta.&nbsp; The pizza is so much better in Italy, particularly the crust.&nbsp; The Amalfi coast was absolutely beautiful.&nbsp; Spectacular natural scenery (Canada and Alaska are really beautiful, Patagonia in Chile is sublime, Iceland is unique) has been my latest passion as far as travel destinations but I have seen quite a few big cities too (Paris, Berlin, London and Madrid to name a few). On my bulletin board at work I keep a list of every country I've visited (other than the U.S. of course). So far I've made it to five continents: Europe, Africa, South America, Asia and North America of course. I've got only two other continents to conquer:) I don't usually have difficulty finding vegetarian dishes here in the U.S. or overseas, but finding vegan dishes is much harder. I have no kids, just cats, Kumquat, Cranberry, and more recently Quincy and Kiwi. They are purebreds, of the breed alley caticus (okay, American shorthair I guess). Our cats are not vegetarians, though my boyfriend (significant other, long-term partner, whatever) is. I am a friend of all animals both tamed and wild. In addition I am a freethinker and my boyfriend studies philosophy. Either way, we get along pretty well.&nbsp; Also, please allow me to say that my BF and I recently bought a condominium in NYC.:)&nbsp; Pet peeve? Okay, I don't like public scenes, especially parents yelling at their children, lovers' spats, etc. If it must be done please do it in private:D Participation &amp; Awards:</p>
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