Four Seasons FlorenceCooking in Leo's Kitchen with the Four Seasons Florence
Some things just are meant to go together. You know, like rose and summer. Leonardo DiCaprio and supermodels. Florentine cuisine and a Medici Palace. We prefer the latter with Michelin-starred chef Vito Mollica of Il Palagio at the Four Seasons Firenze, one of the most spectacular of the Four Seasons portfolio in the world. Fifteenth century palace? Check. Private glorious gardens to stroll through morning, noon and night? Check. One of the only Michelin-starred restaurants in the Four Seasons family? It’s Florence – you bet.
On our last visit, we gorged ourselves on Chef Vito’s cacio e pepe cavatelli with tender ruby shrimp, one of the specials of the house, alongside copious amounts of Barolo. We were just about to go through withdrawal, when Chef Vito showed up on our doorstep here in New York. Well not exactly our doorstep, but actually Leonardo DiCaprio’s doorstep. High above in a penthouse overlooking the Hudson River, Chef Vito brought a piece of Tuscany to New York City. On the menu was a delicate pumpkin parmesan risotto with kale and garnished with micro greens, followed by a halibut over Tuscan white been puree and Barlotti beans. Of course, there was the famed Florentine steak, and we ended with an almond cake and shots of limoncello in the afternoon. Chef Vito shares his secret Pumkin Risotto with Kale and Parmesan Cheese, bringing a piece of the Four Seasons Italy, no matter where you are.
For the Kale:
Clean the kale by removing the central core and cut into strips. Wash the kale well and pat dry.
In a pan, fry the whole garlic with the extra virgin olive oil. Add the kale and cook it on low heat for about 10 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper.
For the Risotto:
Finely chop the onion and fry in a pan with 50 grams of butter. Add the rice, and toast with the chopped onion. Stir in the white wine until it evaporates into the rice and onion mixture.
Clean the pumpkin and cut it into small cubes. Add 2/3 of the pumpkin to the rice, and season with salt. Cook the pumpkin by gradually adding water. After about 10 minutes, add the kale and remaining pumpkin. Stir the risotto off the heat with the remaining butter and the grated parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.