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May 11, 2013 12:50 PM

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.