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. Continue reading “Risotto with Pear, Gorgonzola, and Walnuts”

Risotto al Barolo con Salsiccia

Today it is exactly two years ago that I started this blog. This is the 486th post, there have been almost 150,000 views, and more than 5,000 comments. It has been a great ride so far and I never could have imagined I would have learned so much from it. The fun and learning is thanks to the interaction with my readers and the blogs I follow myself — so keep it coming please!

This is an appropriate moment to try something new: at the bottom of each post I will feature a ‘flashback’ to a post from two years ago, as there are some very nice recipes there that you may have missed because I didn’t have many readers in the beginning.

And now for today’s recipe. Yesterday evening was the first serata piemontese, and it was a great success. Tonight is the next installment, with the same food but mostly different wines. I will do a full report in a later post. I included two primi piatti in my Piemontese menu: agnolotti and risotto al barolo con salsiccia. Risotto is usually made with just a bit of white wine, but Piemonte has the speciality of using red wine and quite a lot of it so the main flavor of the risotto is that of the wine. The end result will thus depend on the quality of the wine used, and though it may seem like a waste of a good barolo, I strongly urge you not to use a cheap red wine for this as that would ruin the dish. Last night everyone agreed that this risotto was different, but delicious. Continue reading “Risotto al Barolo con Salsiccia”

Risotto alla Bartolini

When I saw that John had shared the recipe for one of his family’s crown jewels, the Bartolini family risotto, I knew immediately I was going to prepare it. Even though one of its main components is chicken gizzards, an ingredient I’ve never cooked with before. But I trust the culinary wisdom of John and his Zia (aunt), and it was no surprise that this risotto turned out great. First, because John’s recipes are always top notch, and second, because the idea to parcook the chicken gizzards and prepare the stock for the risotto at the same time makes a lot of culinary sense. The combination of mushrooms and chicken gizzards in the risotto works really well. We liked both the flavor as well as the texture.

Continue reading “Risotto alla Bartolini”

Risotto with Peas and Mint (Risotto ai Piselli e Menta)

We have lots of fresh mint in our garden, and so it was easy to decide what risotto to prepare on one of the first summer days we’ve had around here this year. Peas and mint are a classic combination: the freshness of the mint pairs well with the sweetness of the peas. Peas are one of the few vegetables that are usually better frozen than fresh, so this is also a good recipe to make when you have mint in our garden, peas in your freezer, and don’t feel like shopping. Continue reading “Risotto with Peas and Mint (Risotto ai Piselli e Menta)”

Cauliflower Risotto (Risotto al Cavolfiore)

A few weeks ago I dined at my favorite Italian restaurant in Amsterdam: Bussia. The risotto I was served there was a cauliflower risotto and it was the inspiration for the risotto I created. This risotto is very creamy with most of the cauliflower used to make a cauliflower puree and the remainder roasted in the oven for some additional flavor and crunch. As a finishing touch I added some roasted almonds. I was happy with the result and will definitely make this again. If made with vegetable stock, this is an outstanding vegetarian dish. Continue reading “Cauliflower Risotto (Risotto al Cavolfiore)”

Beetroot Risotto (Risotto alle Barbabietole)

I saw a nice bunch of newly harvested beetroots with greens, and decided to turn them into a risotto. I thought it would be nice to use everything: leaves, stalks, and of course the beetroots themselves. Turned out I was right, a this turned out to be a very tasty risotto. I roasted the beetroots and the stalks, and especially the stalks became very nice and crispy. Continue reading “Beetroot Risotto (Risotto alle Barbabietole)”

Risotto with Chard (Risotto alle Bietole)

Risotto with Chard (snijbiet in Dutchis a humble yet tasty risotto. I parcooked the chard in the stock that I subsequently used for the risotto to capture all of the flavor of the chard. For this risotto I used only the leaves of the chard. If you like, you could also use the stems if you parcook them longer. The two most important things for making a fine risotto are the stock and patience. The stock must be homemade, not from cubes. Patience is needed to stir it for 20 minutes or so, but all that work is rewarded with a very creamy and tasty risotto. Continue reading “Risotto with Chard (Risotto alle Bietole)”

Lobster Risotto Like No Other

All the recipes I could find for lobster risotto did not use the lobster shells to make lobster stock to use for the risotto. They were simply a plain risotto with a lobster served on top. And so I decided to create my own recipe for lobster risotto and it turned out spectacular! I decided to cook the lobster tail sous-vide because that will keep it amazingly tender, but if you don’t have sous-vide equipment you can simply boil the lobster tail as usual and still obtain a wonderful dish. Because live lobsters are not a cheap ingredient this is something for a special occasion or a dinner party where you are looking to impress your guests. This risotto is served with the lobster tail on top, delicious lobster meat mixed in with the rice that has a wonderful lobster flavor from the stock, as well as peas, tomato, and yellow bell pepper for lovely colors. This dish has a nice contrast between the creamy rice and crunchy vegetables. Continue reading “Lobster Risotto Like No Other”

Smoked Eel and Celeriac Risotto (Risotto Anguille e Sedano Rapa)

Two typical Dutch ingredients are smoked eel and celeriac (aka celery root). In Dutch cooking, they are sometimes combined in celeriac soup with smoked eel. I thought it would be worth trying some Dutch-Italian fusion and make a smoked eel and celeriac risotto. I loved the result and will definitely make it again. A nice thing about the smoked eel is that it is a “mile 0” product, as the eel is caught and smoked in the town where I live. Smoked eel is a delicacy because it melts on your tongue and has a very nice full flavor. It … Continue reading Smoked Eel and Celeriac Risotto (Risotto Anguille e Sedano Rapa)

Risotto al Basilico

This basil risotto was inspired by a similar risotto we got at a recent dinner at restaurant Bussia in Amsterdam. Their version was lighter and greener, but this was just as delicious. The lighter and greener style may in part have been to blanching the basil leaves to set the color and lighten the taste, something I did not do and may try next time. Ingredients For 2 servings 130 grams (2/3 cup) risotto rice 1 bunch fresh basil (about 50 grams/2 oz) 1 small onion, chopped 5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 glass (100 ml) dry white wine … Continue reading Risotto al Basilico

Carrot Risotto (Risotto alle Carote)

I’ve enjoyed cooking for a long time, but since I started blogging about it I’ve been experimenting and trying new things much more often than before. One of the big drivers of this is that other bloggers inspire me. One of the blogs that I get a lot of inspiration from is 35aweek.com. She posts a lot of things that sound and look delicious that I’ve never cooked before. One of those dishes was Roasted carrot & thyme risotto. Carrots are one of those vegetables that are healthy, cheap, and readily available, but can be a bit boring. So I … Continue reading Carrot Risotto (Risotto alle Carote)

Radishes Risotto with Monkfish and Pancetta

I liked pasta with radishes, so I thought I’d try risotto with radishes as well. The pasta with radishes seemed to need a little pancetta, and since pancetta is also good with monkfish I decided to combine the three of them. And it worked! I cooked the monkfish sous-vide, but if you don’t have sous-vide equipment you could just pan-fry the monkfish, being careful not to overcook it. Ingredients For 2 servings 225 grams (1/2 pound) monkfish fillet 80 grams (3 oz) pancetta, thinly sliced 1 bunch radishes with nice-looking leaves 2/3 cup risotto rice such as Arborio 2 cups … Continue reading Radishes Risotto with Monkfish and Pancetta

Smoked Celeriac Risotto with Scallops

The inspiration for this risotto came from our wonderful dinner at De Librije, where the sea scallops with veal marrow, black garlic and a smoky jus of roasted celeriac was one of our favorite dishes. This is by no means my version of the same dish, I mainly used the idea of pairing scallops with smoky celeriac. At De Librije the dish was paired with a white burgundy from Cotes-de-Nuits, and I also happened to have one bottle of a white Cotes-de-Nuits 2006 left so we drank that with it (and I also used one glass for the risotto). Ingredients … Continue reading Smoked Celeriac Risotto with Scallops

Truffle, leek and shallot risotto (Risotto al Tartufo, porro e scalogno)

I don’t cook much with truffle, as the quality of the truffles available in the Netherlands is usually disappointing — especially considering the price. But when I got this dried truffle as a freebie to try out, I thought I’d make a nice risotto with it. For future reference I can point out that it is better to buy fresh truffle, because for the list price of this (1.5 grams of dried truffle and a bit of truffle-infused olive oil) at 8 euros ($10 US) you can usually buy 8 grams of fresh truffle (at least in Amsterdam), which will … Continue reading Truffle, leek and shallot risotto (Risotto al Tartufo, porro e scalogno)

Fennel risotto with Sea bream (Risotto di Finocchio con Orata)

Risotto or pasta is not served as a side dish in Italy, but sometimes you do get fish fillets served on top of a nice plate of risotto (in many cases raw, or just slightly cooked because the raw fillets are on top of the hot risotto). I really like the combination of a risotto made with fennel and home-made fish stock and a sea bream or seabass fillet, fried on the skin side only for juicy tender fish with crispy skin. Risotto takes some time and patience to make, but the texture is better if you do the proper … Continue reading Fennel risotto with Sea bream (Risotto di Finocchio con Orata)

Risotto sous-vide with Asparagus and Goat cheese

The traditional way of making risotto is a bit of a chore. Sauté a minced onion, toast the rice, add wine, and then keep adding stock and stirring for around 18 minutes. Finish with some butter and in many cases (but not always) grated parmigiano. Adding the stock in parts instead of all at once is needed to get the correct texture: the grains of rice will stay whole instead of breaking and will release more thickening starch. I don’t mind the effort, but for a weekday meal after work or for a dinner party it is not very convenient. … Continue reading Risotto sous-vide with Asparagus and Goat cheese

Risotto ai gamberoni (Risotto with jumbo shrimp)

When you are cooking with jumbo shrimp, always try to buy them with heads and shells on and peel them yourself. It is a little bit of work, but you can make a delicious stock from the heads and shells that is excellent to make a risotto or paella or to use for pasta sauce. If you are not using the heads and shells straight away, just throw them in the freezer until you do. Next time you will be able to make this very tasty risotto, for which you will need more heads and shells than than you will … Continue reading Risotto ai gamberoni (Risotto with jumbo shrimp)

Jerusalem artichoke risotto (Risotto al topinambur)

I just made this risotto with Jerusalem artichokes (also called sunchoke, French: topinambour, Dutch: aardpeer or topinamboer) and it was so good that I wanted to blog about it straight away. Ingredients For 2 servings I used: 400 grams (0.9 lb) Jerusalem artichokes 120 grams risotto rice (arborio) 4 tbsp freshly grated parmigiano reggiano 1 tbsp butter 2 tbsp chopped flatleaf parsley salt and freshly ground black pepper 500 grams (1 pound) mixed aromatic vegetables for the stock: leeks, onions, carrots, celery stalks 1 bay leaf 1 shallot 1 glass (100 ml) of dry white wine olive oil optional: bit … Continue reading Jerusalem artichoke risotto (Risotto al topinambur)