Sunday, 21 August 2011


Since I have moved back home, there hasn't a week gone by without me making a risotto of some sort. I think it is a fantastic healthy dish, so tasty and better still it creates minimal washing up. Risotto seems like an impressive dish to cook others but as long as you know the simple principles to making risotto and can give up 30 minutes of attention to it, it is actually very cheap and simple. There are also so many variations and combinations you can make!

My Simple Risotto Recipe:
  • Onion (finely chopped)
  • Lazy Garlic (1 tsp)
  • Risotto (Aborio) Rice (good handful per person)
  • Vegetable Stock (as much as required, using a stock cube per person)
  • Pepper & Herbs to taste
  1. Start by gently frying your onion in a little olive oil until tender. I recommend using as wide a pan as you can as it will cook quicker 
  2. Add the risotto rice and fry for a minute, keep stirring so it doesn't stick to the pan. Have your stock made up in a large jug and add a little to the pan, stirring it into the rice
  3. Add flavourings at this point, your garlic can go in, along with you pepper and any herbs you may want to use. I don't use salt as I find the stock cubes have a salty enough flavour for the risotto
  4. Keep adding the stock and stirring the rice. You need to add only a little stock at the time, stir the rice and then add a little more when this is absorbed, this is why you need to be able to give your risotto 30 minutes attention
  5. Your risotto should start to look creamier and the rice more plumped up. Taste the risotto for seasoning and also check the rice is cooked. It shouldn't be too soft and should have some bite to it, but also shouldn't be hard. The consistency shouldn't be too thick or too runny

When you have nailed the simple art of making risotto there are so many variations that you can make. Here are some of my favourites:

 Mushroom Risotto

Simply add the a variety of mushrooms at stage 3. Regular closed cup mushrooms do not make a good risotto, as they don't have a strong enough flavour. I tend to use chestnut, portobello and oyster mushrooms and use at least two different types of mushrooms. I also like to add a handful of spinach each person to the risotto at the end of cooking.

Lemon & Rocket Risotto

A friend made me this at a dinner party and I was really impressed with it. I recreated it at home with my basic risotto recipe and adding the zest and juice of a lemon (this is for a two person portion) to my vegetable stock and then adding handfuls of rocket at the end of cooking. You may want to omit the onion in this recipe, as it may be a little too much with the light lemon flavour.

Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto

I have also previously made butternut squash risotto and you can see the post here. This has some helpful pictures of what the rice should look like at different stages.

I am very eager to make even more risotto! Does anyone have an idea's of other great variations?


  1. Ooh lemon and rocket risotto, thats a combo i have yet to try.

    One of my autumnal favourite risotto recipes is 'carrot and parsley'. A flavour combo I saw in Nadine Abensurs cookbook called 'Cranks Fast Food'. Its good.

  2. Mmm, I want to go make some risotto right now!


  3. I have never made a risotto... mostly out of fear. I am a horrible cook. You make it sound possible though, so I think I will give it a shot this week. XO

  4. The butternut squash one looks especially lovely!! Can't wait for the squash and pumpkin season.. :) xx

  5. You're making me want to make risotto right now!