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May 5, 2002 08:25 PM

The BEST risotto EVER-Toasted Pistachio Gorgonzola

  • s

A coworker gave me the recipe for this on Friday, he didn't think that we could get the proper ingredients for it in Minneapolis, thank goodness he was wrong! We made it tonight, the full recipe and had easily enough for 10 people. It is EXCELLENT! Thank you for sharing your recipe, my family appreciates it and Chuck (the person that gave me the recipe) will appreciate some of the leftovers tomorrow for lunch and/or dinner.

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  1. Where is the recipe? I love risotto, pistachios & gorgonzola. I have to make it too.

    17 Replies
    1. re: TR

      Just scroll down a bit. It's from a post of about three or so weeks ago that generated a lot of comment because of it's author's justifiable fussiness that it be made perfectly according to his recipe.

      1. re: Bob Brooks

        Thank you Bob! Found it and will try it (exactly).

        1. re: TR

          i CAN'T find it -- will someone please just reply with it. thanks

          1. re: sara

            Hi Sara, it's from April 9. The link is below:


            1. re: Rubee

              I am sorry that I was so insistent in using the exact ingredients but they all make a difference. I've made this almost one hundred times varying the recipe slightly as well as my technique virtually every time. I found there's a fine line between being merely fattening and intensely deliciously fattening. But I'm addicted to risotto, in particular this and another creation which includes lump crabmeat and shaved truffles as well as incorporating lobster stock.
              One of the great pleasures of making risotto is my philosophy of one cup of wine for the rice, one cup of wine for the cook. With my right hand occupied stirring my left hand, when not shaking the pot back and forth, is usually busy lifting a glass to sip.
              Thanks again for trying this.

              1. re: Joe H.

                I am very impressed with the reviews of this risotto and I will certainly try it. But I wanted to ask Joe if he is willing to also divulge the recipe for the crabmeat-lobster stock risotto he mentioned. I have been saving up some lobster stock just for a nice risotto and based on your clear passion for this food, I'll bet you've got a great recipe...
                Thanks much..

                1. re: Chili

                  Melt 3 tblsp unsalted butter in pan (I use an All Clad 3 1/2 quart pot with a wooden spoon) and saute 1 cup finely chopped sweet onion. Toast 1 lb carneroli. Add 1 1/4 cup good chardonnay and stir until fully absorbed. Add 5 cups of lobster stock, one cup at a time fully absorbing each cup before adding the next all the while stirring constantly. Add one stick of softened unsalted butter & stir until totally melted. Add 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream and fold in. Remove from heat and ddd 3/4 lb LUMP crab meat gently folding in along with 1 cup of freshly grated reggiano and 2 tblsp of chopped chives. Sprinkle with slices of fresh truffle. Pour a trace of "vintage" olive oil(i.e. Castello di Ama, Badia Coltibuono, etc.-olive oil that has the vintage on it and comes from a Tuscan winery.) around edge of risotto.
                  Fresh truffles are available from Urbani in Long Island, NY ( Truffles from a jar are not very good in this. You can also add, for crunch, 1/4 to 1/3 inch square crouton cubes to taste.
                  By way of an understatement this is an expensive dish to make.

                  1. re: Joe H.

                    Thanks so much...It sounds abolutely wonderful. I can not wait to try it!
                    BTW, when you say truffles, I assume you are referring to white Alba truffles?

                    1. re: Chili

                      Either black summer truffles which are much cheaper or the Alba truffles which are frighteningly expensive but much preferred. I actually don't like the black truffles in a jar. Good truffle oil is interesting in other risottos for its overall flavor. Crab stock and chicken stock work in this also but I just feel the lobster stock is unique in combination with the lump crab, cream, reggiano and butter.

                2. re: Joe H.

                  Joe-- you may not want to use anything except good chardonnay for your risotto recipe, but have you tried the Bodega Lurton Mendoza Pinot Gris that Melanie Wong recommended a while back? I tried a bottle two weekends ago and it is exquisite-- luscious notes of honeysuckle, peach, strawberry and a hint of citrus. I bought a case at Rodman's on Friday for $5.99, then I saw it in today's Post at Calvert-Woodley for $5.49! I've got to get another case. It's going to be my summer white wine this year, that's for sure.

                  I'll try to bite the budget bullet and try Rao's pasta sauce, too.

                  1. re: zora

                    Thanks, Zora, Melanie is extremely knowledgable about wine. I suspect that she is in the business. I just tend to prefer more full bodied red wines but I'm actually driving from Reston into Chevy Chase Liquors Tuesday or Wednesday since they have '99 Chateau Soverain Merlot on sale for $12.99 (normally $19). This is the wine WS rated a 92. I just think its absolutely delicious and am putting several cases away for a couple of years of bottle age. I will stop and pick up a bottle of the pinot gris nearby.
                    Rao's sauce is just really good over the artisinal pasta when I don't have time to cook and don't want anything that has a lot of fat. I must eat it one night a week or so. A 32 oz jar and a lb of the pasta totals about $15.00 (the pasta is $4.95 at Fresh Fields) but my wife and I split it 2/3-1/3 and from this perspective its not really expensive.
                    But thanks again for the wine recommendation, Zora. I do appreciate it.
                    Melanie, if you happen to read this, are you in the business?

                    1. re: Joe H.
                      Caitlin McGrath

                      I'll presume to answer for Melanie. She's not in the business, but she's en route to receiving her Master of Wine certification.

                      1. re: Joe H.

                        I did try a bottle of Chateau Souverain '99 Merlot on your recommendation. I agree--it was excellent, and I'm sure that it will smooth out even more with a couple of years of bottle age. I paid full price for it at Magruder's, which was the first place I found it after numerous inquiries in other wine shops. At $12.99, I can see myself buying several bottles. You'll probably get to Chevy Chase before I do, though...but the fine wine quest continues. This morning, C-W had fifteen cases of Lurton Pinot Gris. Now they have fourteen.

                      2. re: zora

                        What city are these stores in?

                        1. re: saucyknave

                          Washington, D. C. The liquor stores here are among the most competitive in America. The current price of $152 for a case of Chateau Souverain is remarkably cheap.

                  2. re: sara

                    Here it is. I made it yeaterday - and it is indeed incredible!

                    Subject: Absolute Best Risotto You Will EVER Eat: Toasted Pistachio Gorgonzola Dolce
                    From: (Joe H.)
                    Posted: April 09, 2002 at 15:53:48

                    Immodestly this is the best risotto that I have ever eaten. I have had risotto at Al Soriso and Dal Pescatore (Michelin three stars), Battebecco and Bitone (one stars in Bologna), da Fiore (one star in Venezia) as well as at least a half dozen more starred restaurants in Italy. I also won a major cooking
                    contest with it several years ago.

                    I post this because of an earlier discussion about "pressure cooker" risotto and the current risotto discussion. For those on this board who are into cooking make this EXACTLY the way I describe. Don't make it if you CHANGE ANYTHING. This is expensive and somewhat time consuming but it will be the most intensely flavorful dish of its kind that you will ever eat. Again, make absolutely certain that you use EXACTLY the ingredients that I describe. As much as anything this is a technique dish but when you get it down you will absolutely WOW your friends or customers.


                    From Joe Heflin

                    1 pound vialone nano arborio rice (carneroli is
                    acceptible as substitution)
                    1/4 cup olive oil (as good as you can find, i.e. Badia
                    Coltibuono, Castello di Ama, etc.)
                    one sweet onion (Vidalia, Texas Sweet, etc.) finely
                    chopped to equal one cup
                    1 1/2 cups chardonnay (I use Beringer or a wine at
                    least equal to this-NOT a cheap wine.)
                    2 cups chicken stock (REAL chicken stock, not from a
                    can or a cube)(frozen chicken stock that sells for
                    $3.99 for 8 ozs. is OK) Use WARM chicken stock
                    that you keep heated in a separate pot over
                    low heat.
                    7/8 pound Gorgonzola DOLCE (NOTE: You MUST use the
                    dolce, no other gorgonzola will do. Don't make
                    this if you can't find it!!!) The gorgonzola
                    should be broken up into pieces or one to two
                    inch soft chunks that have sat at room temperature
                    for an hour or more.
                    1/2 pound unsalted butter (Pleugra, Kate's, European,
                    absolute best you can find.) I slice the butter one
                    inch thick and let the slices sit at room tempera-
                    ture for at least an hour.
                    1/2 cup toasted (in oven for 3-4 minutes at 325 degrees)
                    pistachios, chopped that you have shelled yourself.
                    Use everything, chopped nut and "dust" but remember
                    you want these for crunch as well as flavor. I
                    might even use a bit more than this. Use unsalted
                    10 ozs. Reggiano Parmegiano grated which will equal
                    about three cups in volume. Grate this
                    yourself from the best and most moist brick you can

                    I use an All Clad 3 1/2 quart pan and a wooden spoon with a flat side for stirring. In the sauce pan over medium to medium high heat (6 to 7 on a scale of 10) heat olive oil. Add onions until they sweat (several minutes). Add rice and toast stirring constantly as it cooks for two minutes or so. Add wine and cook until completely reduced stirring frequently. When the wine has completely disappeared start adding stock one ladle at a time (about 2/3 cup) and cook stirring constantly until the rice absorbs the stock. Repeat until all of the stock is absorbed. After 8 or 9 minutes of this add the gorgonzola dolce. Continue to stir the cheese into the mixture for another four minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the butter, toasted pistachios and reggiano. Gently stir all together thoroughly.

                    Serve by itself in a large white plate or pasta bowl. This is extremely filling and very intensely flavored. The above recipe will serve at least eight because of this. Again do NOT make this if you cannot find EXACTLY the ingredients called for. This is risotto as an art.

                3. re: Bob Brooks

                  This is a marvelous recipe! I made it last nightand it was truly worth the effort. Actually, most of the effort came from finding all the ingredients. Once I did, it was fun to make. Risotto is really a satisfying cooking experience if you have the time. I did cut the recipe in half since it was just the two of us and had pplenty left over. Definitely a keeper! Thanks, Joe!

              2. Thank you for sharing the results. It's my signature dish that I invested a lot of calories and money to learn how to make correctly.

                1. This sounds delicious! Susan, can you help me minimize my shopping and tell me where you found most of the ingredients in Minneap.? Thanks!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: whitney

                    I found everything but the pistachios at Surdyk's in Nordeast, the pistachios I found at my local Byerly's. It was well worth the trip and the $$$. I highly recommend this dish for company.

                  2. Hi Joe. I too made your risotto as printed. I couldn't get the exact wine you mentioned, but I talked it over with the guy at the high end liquor store and we figured out an appropriate substitute. I shelled the pistachios myself and used homemade chicken stock and the whole bit.

                    It was FABULOUS.

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: Joe H.

                        Joe, I've saved your recipe and am going to try it. I also gave it to someone else who is interested in the same.

                        Thank you.

                    1. j
                      Jon Leventhal

                      Put half a pound of butter and parmesan in anything and it tastes good :^)