To Prepare the Carrot Butter:
Combine carrots, lemon zest, thyme and bay leaf in a medium saucepan with enough oil to cover the carrots completely. Place pot over a low flame, heat until oil barely begins to bubble. Continue cooking at this low temperature until the carrots are fork tender, about 20 – 25 minutes.
Strain carrots from the oil and reserve; allow the oil to cool. Discard the thyme and bay leaf.
Place 2 tablespoons of the reserved oil in blender along with the carrots. Turn on the blender to medium speed, slowly adding about 3 more tablespoons or the reserved oil so the mixture blends easily. (Stop the blender in the process to stir and redistribute the mixture with a rubber spatula, as needed.) Blend until completely smooth, adding sea salt to taste. The consistency should be fairly thick, not runny.
Refrigerate, covered, until ready use. Leftover carrot butter can be refrigerated up to 3 days.
Tear kale leaves into large ribbons, removing the ribs. Toss the kale with 3 tablespoons olive oil in a mixing bowl. Spread in 1 layer on baking sheet and bake at 350° until crispy, about 5 to 8 minutes. Set side.
Heat stock in a medium saucepan; keep warm. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a second medium saucepan set over medium heat; stir in the onions. Cook onions 2 minutes. Add rice, stirring until coated with oil.
When the rice has taken on a pale golden color, pour in wine, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until the wine is fully absorbed. Add 1/2 cup warm broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly, until the liquid is absorbed and rice is al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove rice from heat, stir in Carrot Butter, as desired. (The risotto will have a loose consistency.) Stir in chopped thyme and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Garnish with crispy kale. Top with a sprinkle of Aleppo pepper, if desired.
Store leftover kale in an airtight container.
Recipe courtesy of Chef Gabe Garcia, Tierra Sur at Herzog Wine Cellars