Green Apple Risotto with Cabbage and Bacon

Ingredients

1/2 cup chopped slab bacon or chopped high-quality thick-sliced lean bacon (“Mom” opted for MorningStar Farms® Veggie Bacon Strips)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 Savoy cabbage, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
3 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and cut into small dice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup chopped scallions
2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature (optional)

Preparation

• Place a large straight-sided nonreactive saucepan over medium heat and when it is hot, add the bacon. When the bacon has rendered its fat, add the garlic, cabbage, salt, and pepper, stirring well after each addition, and cook until the cabbage is wilted and tender, about 10 minutes. Add the rice and stir until it is well coated.

• Add 1 cup of water and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Add 1/2 cup apple cider and continue adding water and apple cider, 1 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition, until all the liquid has been absorbed, about 18 to 20 minutes.

• Stir in the apple, mustard, scallions, and, if desired, the butter.

• Serve immediately.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Todd English*