Risotto alle Fragole, Strawberry Risotto

Risotto alle Fragole, Strawberry Risotto

Risotto alle Fragole, Strawberry Risotto

One of the nicest things about late spring and early summer in Italy is the tremendous abundance of strawberries that floods the markets. While they do make for wonderful desserts, one can also do other things with them. For example, make risotto:

  • 2 tablespoons minced onion (or shallot)
  • 3 tablespoons julienned celery
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups (400 g) short-grained rice, along the lines of Carnaroli or Arborio
  • 1 cup (250 ml) good dry sparkling wine (it need not be Methode Champenoise)
  • Simmering broth, ideally vegetable, though chicken will do
  • 3/4 pound (350 g) firm strawberries, hulled and finely sliced
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmigiano

Sauté the onion and celery until well wilted in 2/3 of the butter, then remove them from the pot with a slotted spoon and set them aside. Stir the rice into the butter and cook over a moderate flame, stirring, for 5-7 minutes.

Stir the onion and celery back into the rice, stir to heat the mixture through, and add the bubbly. Continue stirring until the wine is completely evaporated, then begin adding broth a ladle at a time. The rice should be done in about 15 minutes; at this point stir in the strawberries, cook stirring gently for one more minute, turn off the flame, stir in the remaining butter and cheese, cover for a minute, and serve.

If you want to serve individual portions (they do look better) set aside the four prettiest strawberries, split them, and place them on top of the risotto in the bowls, garnishing with either mint or celery leaves. This recipe will serve four hefty eaters, or 6 more normal people. If you’re serving more, set aside more strawberries.

Risotto alle Fragole, Strawberry Risotto

Risotto alle Fragole, Strawberry Risotto

As a variation (use the proportions above)

  • 2 shallots, minced
  • Butter
  • Strawberries, quartered
  • Brown rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Mint leaves for garnish
  • Simmering broth
  • Grated Parmigiano (optional)

Sauté the shallot in the butter, and when they have turned golden remove them from the pot with a slotted spoon and set it aside; stir the rice into the butter and cook, stirring, over a moderate flame for 5-7 minutes. Return the shallot to the pot, stir in the wine and cook until evaporated, then stir in half the strawberries and mix with a spoon until they come apart, forming a syrup. At this point finish cooking the risotto by adding broth a ladle at a time. When it’s done (brown rice will take longer than Arborio to cook, 20 minutes or probably more) stir in the remaining strawberries, a walnut-sized chunk of butter, and, if you want, a few tablespoons grated Parmigiano.

Cover for 2 minutes and serve, with the mint-leaf garnish.

With either of these risotti, I’d serve a zesty, unoaked white wine, for example a Fiano or a Lugana.

 

How to make risotto, Illustrated

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Categories: Kid Foods, Vegetarian Risotti

Author:Cosa Bolle in Pentola

Italy boasts an astonishing number of varietals, denominations, and wines, and tremendous changes are sweeping the land. New wines are being created, new DOCs are being introduced, and the existing denominations are overhauling their regulations both to reflect the practices adopted by their member wineries and to favor improvements in quality. Even the most staid and stolid region can flower seemingly overnight, emerging with exciting new wines and wineries that require rewriting the enological maps and rethinking one's positions. And, of course, recipes too, because cuisine and wine are closely intertwined and it's difficult to imagine one without the other.

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