A foolproof guide to making a delicious risotto with walnuts, Swiss chard and Parmesan

Melanie Johnson shares a fine recipe for a simple, hearty meal.

‘Earthy Swiss chard is assumed to be a cousin of spinach, but it is, in fact, part of the beet family,’ says our kitchen garden cook Melanie Johnson.

It can work well even in the simplest form — Melanie also suggests wilting it with butter and placing a top a slice of fried halloumi in an egg muffin —

It’ll also add a real lift to dishes such as the risotto below.

Recipe: Swiss chard and ricotta risotto with walnuts and Parmesan


  • A generous splash of olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 200g Arborio rice
  • 150ml white wine
  • 850ml chicken stock
  • 200g Swiss chard, stalks and all, roughly chopped
  • 50g butter
  • 200g ricotta
  • 75g walnuts, chopped
  • Parmesan to serve

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Heat a splash of olive oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan. Gently cook the diced onion until soft and translucent.

Add the grated garlic, stir in for a minute, and then tip in the Arborio rice.

Stir for a couple of minutes to coat the rice and then pour over the white wine.

Cook until the wine has been fully absorbed and then add the hot chicken stock —  one-third at a time — allowing it to become absorbed between each addition. Stir in the chopped chard, together with the last third of the stock.

Once the rice has cooked add the butter, stirring it through, and then dollop the top with ricotta. Place a lid on to the pan and leave to rest for five minutes.

Scatter the chopped walnuts over the top and then serve with grated Parmesan and lightly dressed salad leaves on the side.