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Best Risotto Recipe You Have Ever Made

I made chorizo, fava bean, and blue cheese risotto last night and it might have been the best I have ever made (or had out since I don't ever recall ordering it at a restaurant because I am always doubtful they give it the "love" it deserves). I need to eat more of this stuff (but my waistline says otherwise). I am planning on making crayfish risotto next week (probably neither of these variations are traditional but I like a little protein in my risottos).

What's the best risotto recipe you have every made?

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    1. I've made this twice and both times it was amazing. Leftovers made into cakes and fried on medium heat until golden brown are wonderful too!


      1. Oops, I thought I looked for a recent thread but must have missed that one.

        1. Risotto made with homemade chicken stock, a little olive oil and a little cheese really isn't that fattening. It's when we pile on all that other stuff that we get in trouble.

          18 Replies
          1. re: escondido123

            Hate to burst your bubble, but risotto is fattening because it's a big starch bomb. Homemade stock or not, and the cheese isn't that big a contributor. Add some protein and you'd be better off.

            That said, any decent homemade risotto is a great dish. My favorite is smoked salmon and goat cheese. Small portions.

            1. re: foreverhungry

              Starch bomb? Two hundred fifty calories is a starch bomb? Sorry, I think that with a cupful of a nice vegetable like asparagus or mushrooms it is a wonderful main course. I don't need major protein at every meal.

              1. re: escondido123

                A plain risotto, one serving, (1/6th of a standard full recipe is usually what I've seen in most cookbooks) comes in around 400+ calories, with 45+ grams of carbohydrates. Because it's white rice, the glycemic index on that is high. But then most folks, including restaurant servings, aren't eating 1/6th of a recipe, which means 60-90 grams of a simple carbohydrate in a single meal.

                The equivelent in pasta is an 1/8 pound serving of plain pasta - 43 grams of simple carbohydrates. But most folks that make pasta their main course will double that to 1/4 lb dried pasta - about 2 cups cooked - ringing in at 86 grams of simple carbs. That too would qualify, for me anyway, as a starch bomb, because of a high amount of simple carbohydrates with a high glycemic index.

                I love risotto, but I'm under no delusion that it makes for a healthy meal all by itself, unless it's mostly lean protein or vegetable, and not a lot of rice/cheese.

                1. re: foreverhungry

                  That's a bit of a specious argument, though -- an excessive serving of anything is unhealthy but that doesn't mean the dish itself is. The problem is that people insist on eating risotto as a main, when it should be a side (or a component of the meal, preferably with a green salad or something of the like). Also, adding a small amount of fat (in the form of oil/butter and cheese) slows down the glycemic response.

                  Not saying it should be on the daily menu but it can definitely be a healthy meal. The key is to not it eat it "all by itself."

                  1. re: piccola

                    Yes, I agree that an excess of most things is unhealthy. As you point out, though, the problem is when risotto is eaten as the main. Unfortunately, that's what happens in many American restaurants. escondido123, above, also suggested that's how (he/she) has risotto, as a single meal.

                    I agree that risotto can be part of a healthy meal. I'm leery about it being a healthy meal in-and-of-itself, unless it's loaded with a lean protein and vegetables, and one serving has a relatively low rice content.

                    So yes, I misspoke when I said that risotto is a starch-bomb. It's how it's usually eaten in the US that's the problem.

                    1. re: foreverhungry

                      "So yes, I misspoke when I said that risotto is a starch-bomb. It's how it's usually eaten in the US that's the problem."

                      I've eaten many risotto in Italy as either a primi or as an entree and the serving size is usually pretty healthy; it's definitely not a side dish size.

                      1. re: ttoommyy

                        Interesting. On my two trips to italy, I've never seen it as an entree, only as a primi. So I'll strike the "in the US" part of the statement above.

                        1. re: foreverhungry

                          Yes, it's offered as a primi but you certainly can order it as an entree. That's what I meant. And then of course there are those that order it as a primi and then have an secondi as well.

                          1. re: ttoommyy

                            And there's the rub - an entree sized dish of risotto. That's where it rolls into the "less than a balanced meal" zone. I have no issues, personally, with a primi sized portion of risotto and a secondi. But when I do that, it's on days where I've had a significant calorie expenditure.

                            1. re: foreverhungry

                              "And there's the rub - an entree sized dish of risotto. That's where it rolls into the "less than a balanced meal" zone.

                              I think you are confused. When I order it as an entree in Italy, it is from the selection of primi; so no size difference. It is not a huge portion of food, but it is enough to eat as an entree, especially if starting with a light antipasti or finishing with a salad.

                              1. re: foreverhungry

                                I hope I never have to live my life so that every day or every meal has to consist of a "balanced meal." My life's motto is everything in moderation including moderation.

                                1. re: c oliver

                                  Well, some people have to live there lives eating a "balanced meal" because of health reasons. I actually had to eat a LOW fiber diet for a good part of a year due to a health problem.

                                  That said, I too subscribe to the moderation philosophy, and except for a few extra pounds, I am pretty healthy these days.

                                  btw...and I say this in a kidding kind of way...I find @foreverhungry's screen name funny given his/her comments about eating a "balanced diet." :)

                                  1. re: ttoommyy

                                    No irony meant in the screen name. I am truly forever hungry! And eating a 2-3 serving plate of risotto is not an uncommon occurance. Those large meals get balanced out at the end of the week, though. There's really not much that's on my "don't eat list", and my "eat as often as possible" list includes pizza, pulled pork, and risotto. That gets moderated on the other side with a very active lifestyle. One of my reasons for a lot of exercise is so I can eat what I want, when I want.

                                    A look at my local shopping mall, though, suggests that many folks work more on one side of the equation, and ignore the other.

                                    1. re: foreverhungry

                                      From the way you were talking in your posts it sounded like you did not eat anything like "pizza, pulled pork, and risotto." Sorry for the assumption.

                                      1. re: ttoommyy

                                        Nope, sorry. I do try to eat healthy, but pork, pizza, and pasta are favorites. Like I said, I balance that by other days of more moderate eating, and a much exercise as I can find time for.

                                        These risotto recipes have me salivating!

                                        1. re: foreverhungry

                                          I'm guilty also of judging you :( We've all known "that kind" of person :)

                        2. re: foreverhungry

                          I have risotto as the main course, after a first course salad that contains vegetables.

                          1. re: foreverhungry

                            I think we're all on the same page: everything in moderation, yadda yadda yadda. :)

                2. With homemade chicken stock and a pile of ramps! I think it was a Gordon Ramsey recipe that I first followed, but now I just make it - sautee the whites at the beginning with the rice and add the greens near the end.

                  1. My Mushroom Risotto recipe which was published in Bon Appetite. My children encouraged me to submit it. Still proud of that recipe.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: maudies5

                      I think I must have missed that issue. :-). Care to share?

                        1. re: maudies5

                          So how about it? Gonna share? Provide a link?

                          1. re: maudies5

                            Mmmm! Love mushroom risotto! I make mine with chopped wild mushrooms cooked in butter, whatever herbs are in season, and red wine, then add to the risotto when it's time to mix in the cheese.

                          2. Good old mushroom and parmesan with homemade chicken stock.

                            1. Has to be aubergine and roasted butternut squash.
                              Baked the aubergine in a very hot oven until blackened and aubergine soft and smoky. Scooped out the flesh and added some olive oil. Stirred this in at the end of making a standard risotto with chicken stock. Topped with small cubes of butternut squash that were dusted with sea salt and dried oregano. Didn't add any cheese.

                              1. I love this one. My "go to" risotto, however I add diced chicken breast to it.


                                1. My favorite is risotto with squid.

                                  I briefly saute the squid in the risotto pot (but only parcooking it), then remove the squid to a bowl. Then I build the flavor base with garlic, onion and/or shallots, using chicken stock or (if I have it) a stock made from leftover shrimp shells, which I always freeze). Then when the risotto is about done, I stir the squid back in and let the pot sit covered off the heat for 5-10 minutes to finish the squid cooking without them overcooking. Then I might stir in some parsley and sometimes a bit of parmigiano (yeah, yeah, I know some say no cheese and seafood for Italian).

                                  What I like about this is its relatively light and delicate character.

                                  When I want something earthier, I go for risotto with porcini and plenty of parmigiano.

                                  1. Langostino risotto, made with roasted lobster stock.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: rjbh20

                                      Gorgeous! Did it taste as amazing as it looked?

                                      1. re: bear

                                        It was very good. Simple and clear flavors, aided by a very rich stock. Need to do this again before the weather warms up too much

                                    2. I recently made a very basic Hazan risotto. Doesn't even use wine. The best I've made but not the best I've had. It's still a dish that I need to work on. Need to revisit that DOTM from a while back. Yesterday for lunch a local restaurant was featuring a morel mushroom risotto. The server was, like don't you want some chicken or something in that. No, no and no :) I think adding a protein to this perfect dish makes it less than perfect. Just me of course.

                                      1. Reading this thread inspired me to make risotto for the first time last night. The posts were making me hungry :) I did a pretty basic shrimp risotto and, holy moly, it was awesome! I've never made (or eaten) risotto before and it turned out perfectly. Took longer the recipe claimed- closer to 40 minutes than 20, but it was worth the wait. Thanks for the inspiration!

                                        1. I like butternut squash and apple - a really nice combination.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: ursy_ten

                                            It IS a nice combo. Flavor AND texture. Maybe that's why I like it pretty plain. The textural part of it.

                                          2. Autumn risotto:
                                            Sweet potato
                                            Sweet apple chicken sausage
                                            Olive oil
                                            Chicken broth
                                            Apple cider

                                            Caramelized Carrot Risotto from Sunset magazine

                                            Out in a restaurant it is usually the mushroom ones that I love best.

                                            1. Lemon/parmeson/pea. I make a traditional risotto (shallots, white wine, chicken stock) add frozen or fresh peas halfway through, then add lemon zest, juice, and parm at the end (just after I add a pat of butter). A little S&P. But the best is what I do with the leftovers...
                                              I scoop out the slimy, cold leftover risotto and make 1 1/2 inch balls, dredge in flour/egg wash/seasoned bread crumbs, then deep fry in vegetable oil until golden. I then make a garlic/paprika/lemon aioli for a dipping sauce. So good!!! (PS, if you don't like peas, you can sub Italian parsley. I just like a bit of color.)

                                              13 Replies
                                              1. re: schrutefarms

                                                Isn't that arancini? I've never made them so just asking.

                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                  I think so-or very close, at least. The only arancini I've ever had were made by my ex's Italian mom-I remember them being made with actual rice. And they were much larger. But yeah, same idea :)

                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                    Yes, arancini are made from leftover risotto. Usually, there is a cube of mozzarella buried inside the risotto ball before it is breaded and fried.

                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                      I REALLY need to make those. REALLY :)

                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                        I haven't made them in too long. It goes on the "soon" list. They are lovely dipped in marinara.

                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                          I sometimes make risotto JUST so I'll have leftovers to make arancini. Ramp risotto seems to make particularly nice ones...something about the frying seems to release more rampy goodness, and it's trapped in the golden brown, crunchy shell. I like to make them small and tuck just one or two little mozzarella pearls into them.

                                                        2. re: sandylc

                                                          I had never heard of arancini, but boy-o-boy do I know about it now. I can't wait to try this next time I have some leftover risotto. I saw one that was stuffed with smoked mozzarella I'm dying to try. I wonder if a roasted red pepper sauce would work with this as well? I also wonder if risotto milenase would work as well. Thoughts?

                                                          1. re: boyzoma

                                                            I just form the leftover risotto into cakes, pat on some bread crumbs, and fry slowly in a half inch of oil, turning once. Easy, peazy. Are the deep-fried balls better?

                                                            1. re: grampart

                                                              Traditional arancini (Italian for "little oranges"referring to their size) are usually stuffed with a tomato sugo that conains peas and a bit of meat; some are also are stuffed with a piece of mozzarella or similar cheese.

                                                              1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                That's what my ex's parents used to make-I remember it had meat, and was very cheesy. Mine are smaller, have a thick, deep fried crust, and the risotto is quite gooey in the middle. Both delicious!!

                                                            2. re: boyzoma

                                                              I've made arancini with smoked mozz and they were delicious. I bet a red pepper sauce would be perfect with them because the cheese is assertive enough to stand up to the peppers.

                                                              1. re: boyzoma

                                                                I think any sauce you like would work! Like I said in my post, I make an aioli to dip mine in-there's no rules! And you could mix up the cheese, too!

                                                          2. The morel one I made last spring was to live for... plus, a close second is the last one I made: with anchovies and green peas, topped with bacon and a fried egg.

                                                            5 Replies
                                                            1. re: badhousekeeping

                                                              I had a morel one last Saturday for lunch. There was a lot of moaning and eyerolling at our table :) And the second one you mention sound fascinating and very, very good!

                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                The great thing about anchovies in a risotto is the umami flavor it adds. I used the oil from the can to saute the shallots at the beginning, too. I'd already invented the anchovy and green pea risotto recipe, and adding the crispy bacon and soft fried egg was my husband's idea. We served it to his mom for Mother's Day dinner, and she LOVED it. Of course, the leftovers were even better for breakfast yesterday morning. :)

                                                                1. re: badhousekeeping

                                                                  Followup question. Did you cook the anchovies (mushed up or whole filets) in with the rice or did they get added at the end. I'm not over the top on anchovies (love some, not all).

                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                    I cooked them with the rice. They break down instantly and vanish into the dish, contributing only flavor. It doesn't end up being fishy tasting, either.

                                                                    1. re: badhousekeeping

                                                                      Thanks for the followup. That's what I was hoping.

                                                            2. A few years back: carnaroli rice, (edit) sake, grey shallots, clarified chicken broth (all chicken no aromatics to maintain the pale color.

                                                              Finished by first painting the bottom of the service bowls with anchovy paste and a couple of grains of instant coffee, topped with grated 40 month Parmigiano-Reggiano and 2+ year old mojamas.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: wattacetti

                                                                Good grief - that sounds insane and wonderful and beautiful. I definitely did NOT have enough lunch today. BTW, my chicken stock is made with nothing but chicken (feet, backs and necks) for that reason. I want it to go where I want it to go.

                                                              2. In the wintertime, instead of white wine I use red wine and I do some roasted mushrooms (I mix minced garlic and some oil) and roast until they are crispy and add to the risotto, and save some for the top to garnish. I add rosemary and thyme to the fresh chicken stock. Along with the butter and parmesan at the end too. Steak would be good with this dish with the red wine.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: cookjoe

                                                                  I've often wanted to try it out with red wine. Beef broth, too. Anyone try that one out?

                                                                  1. re: schrutefarms

                                                                    I have done red wine but not beef broth. I prefer white.

                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                    Yes, I did. It was the first response. :)

                                                                  2. Roasted carrot risotto! I followed a standard risotto recipe but substituted chicken stock with vegetable stock. In advance, I roasted peeled carrots with olive oil, salt, pepper and blasted them in the oven till they were nicely browned and caramelized. In a bowl I mashed the carrots with a fork, then added some veg stock and pureed with a handheld stick blender. Added this puree along with fresh chopped tarragon to the risotto about 5 minutes before it was done, and it came out perfect.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: mbCrispyBits

                                                                      Carrot Risotto is always a surprising hit. No one ever really knows what is so special. I don't advertise it before serving, as some turn their noses up, but always love it. And are genuinely surprised and impressed when I tell them it's carrot...

                                                                    2. Probably a primavera. It amde a wonderful part of a spring meal. This one from Epicurious is what I loosely followed.


                                                                      1. Spinach, pancetta and basil along with the usual onion, white wine, chicken broth, butter and parmigiano reggiano.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: lseavey

                                                                          Now that sounds like my kind of risotto! I am not one for adding tons of additional ingredients to a risotto; I am a 3 ingredient or less man myself, in keeping with the Italian philosophy of "piĆ¹ semplice il migliore." Basically, "the simpler the better." :)

                                                                          1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                            Agreed, when e make risotto it's usually simple, as a side dish. If we add something, it's usually spinach, or something else green. The exception is a smoked salmon and goat cheese risotto we occasionally make, but that is very rich.

                                                                        2. Best? I don't know if it's the best, but OH wanted risotto and crab cakes. I did the risotto, and he did the crab cakes (he's a really good chef... when he wants to be.) I did a roasted butternut squash and roasted brussel sprouts risotto. Very simple and very good. I am not a butternut squash fan, so instead of pureeing them in, i just roasted and cooked in the cubes... that way, i could sort of pick around mine (and dole them on the plate to him...)