Risotto with Pear, Gorgonzola, and Walnuts

Happy Christmas everyone!

Risotto with pear and gorgonzola is a well-known dish in Italy. I had made it before, but a post by Francesca about risotto with speck and apples reminded me that I had never blogged about it. To add some crunch, I decided to include some walnuts as well. The combination of the sweet pear, piquant gorgonzola, and crunchy walnuts works very well with the creamy rice.

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The sweetness of this dish depends on the ripeness of the pears and on the amount of pear that you add. I include one pureed pear and one pear in cubes, which made for quite a sweet risotto as the pears were very ripe. You can make this with chicken stock for more depth of flavor or with vegetable stock to keep it vegetarian. When using chicken stock, make sure to take the fat out as the dish would otherwise become too oily.

Ingredients

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For 2 servings

130 grams (2/3 cup) risotto rice

600 ml (2 1/2 cups) home made chicken stock or home made vegetable stock

100 grams (3.5 oz) gorgonzola, crumbled; I prefer piccante for this recipe

60 ml (1/4 cup) white wine

2 pears

1 small onion, minced

handful of walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

40 grams (3 Tbsp) butter

Preparation

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Melt 25 grams (2 Tbsp) of the butter in a thick-bottomed wide pan and add the onion. Sweat the onion over low heat for 10-15 minutes or until it is soft and fragrant. Do not brown the onion.

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Add the rice and increase the heat. Toast the rice for a few minutes or until very hot and the edges of the rice are translucent.

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Deglaze with the white wine.

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Keep the stock simmering but not boiling. Add a ladle of the stock to the rice, and stir until the liquid has been absorbed. Then add another ladle, and keep stirring. Do this for about 15 minutes or until the rice is almost cooked.

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Meanwhile (i.e. cheat a little by not stirring the risotto constantly), peel and core the pears.

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Puree one of the pears in the food processor and add this to the risotto when it’s almost cooked. Increase the heat a little to warm up the pear quickly.

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When the rice is cooked, add the gorgonzola and stir. (I like to keep some of the gorgonzola for garnish.)

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Turn off the heat. Add the cubed pear and the remaining butter (I like to keep some of the pear for garnish). Stir to mix. Taste and add salt if needed.

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Allow to rest for a few minutes.

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Serve on warm plates, garnished with walnuts and remaining pear and gorgonzola.

Wine pairing

The sweetness of the risotto determines what wine will work with this. A dry wine will not work. An off-dry white from Alsace would be an excellent choice, such as a pinot blanc, pinot gris, sylvaner or gewürztraminer. If you like it really sweet and added a lot of ripe pear, you could even go as sweet as sauternes.

Flashback


Two years ago I prepared ravioli stuffed with parsnip and sea scallops for Christmas. The combination of scallops, parsnip, and tarragon works very well.

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19 thoughts on “Risotto with Pear, Gorgonzola, and Walnuts

    1. Thanks, Mimi. It is a savory dish although it is quite sweet. It would be quite easy to turn it into a dessert now that I think of it — just replace the chicken or vegetable stock with more pureed pear. You may want to candy the walnuts as well.

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  1. Stefan, the combination of pears with gorgonzola and white wine are a favorite of mine. However, I have never had the creativity to incorporate the lovely flavors into a risotto dish. Splendid! It must have been quite the decadent dish. It reminds me of the recipe below, which was served to me years ago (with blue Roquefort instead of the chevré called for in the recipe). Have a wonderful holiday and merry Christmas with your family and friends. Warm regards, Shanna

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  2. What a great dish! It looks amazing! I have to think about a cheese that can replace the Gorgonzola since Stefano doesn’t like it! The walnut final touch was simply brilliant! So the pear cubes are not cooked? Just warmed by the warmth of the risotto itself?
    Hope you and your husband are having a wonderful holiday season!
    Francesca Xx

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    1. The pear was very ripe so the pear cubes did not need to be cooked. If your pear is not as ripe, you could add them earlier and allow them to cook for some minutes along with the rice.
      I hope you and Stefano are having a wonderful holiday season as well!
      Substituting with anything but blue cheese will turn it into a different dish. You could try a soft but strong cheese, perhaps a taleggio?

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