Risotto doneI first ate this at the now-defunct Piano Bar restaurant in Nairobi. It’s so good that everything else in the meal can be very understated. A good dish to wow guests.

Strawberries market
Bernard, our strawberry dealer, at the market in Carcassonne with long-awaited Ciflorettes
glass for the cook
Step 1: Apéro. Kir royal for the chef, straight blanquette de Limoux for the sous-chef.

Time: 45 minutes

Serves 4

1.5 cups arborio rice (or round rice—NOT basmati)

1 onion, minced

2 TBS butter

2 cups grated parmesan—the good stuff you grate yourself, not the fakey powder

1 cup white wine (not sweet)

4 cups chicken broth—homemade, from a can, or from 2 cubes in 4 cups of water

2 threads of saffron (optional)

2 cups fresh strawberries, cut in quarters (not too small or they’ll get mushy)

2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced thinly

Plan of Attack:

Bring the chicken bouillon to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer.

Melt the butter in a big pot (big enough to hold 8 cups. I use a Dutch oven). Add the onion and cook on very low heat until the onion is transparent but not brown. Add the rice and saffron and stir so the rice starts to brown a little.

brown rice
Stir the rice into the butter and onions

Stir in the wine.

add liquid
Let the rice absorb the liquid before adding more

When the liquid is absorbed, stir in about a cup of bouillon. Stir the risotto frequently. When that liquid is absorbed, add another cup.

Stir that risotto. Add another cup (#3) of broth when the liquid has been soaked up.

Put in any more liquid, give it a good stir. Sometimes the risotto looks nice and creamy without using all the liquid.

Turn off the heat. Stir in the parmesan, strawberries and mushrooms. Cover. Serve immediately. DO NOT COOK!

Risotto 3The steam from the risotto will partially cook the strawberries and mushrooms without overdoing it.

Bonus: This goes really well with the other star of the season, asparagus. Since risotto requires a lot of attention, cook the asparagus the no-brainer way:

Asparagus ready to nukeIn the microwave, on high, for 6-7 minutes (depends on the quantity). Pick off the rosemary and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.

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15 thoughts on “Risotto with Strawberries and Mushrooms

  1. This looks very interesting!! Will try that next week when i’ll be able to get good strawberries in the market – I guess there’s little point in doing this recipe with supermarket strawberries?

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    1. Of course you can do it with supermarket strawberries. I wouldn’t use frozen, because they would be mushy. Strawberries are one of the fruits/veggies that hold on to pesticides the most, so I’m careful where I buy them.

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  2. This sounds wonderful. We make risotto quite regularly….pretty much the same….except for the strawberries……I would never have thought to use fresh berries.
    Thanks…..

    Ali

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That looks incredibly good.
    Can you freeze leftovers, assuming there are any. And then how do you reheat, given that you say not to cook.

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    1. I reheat it in the microwave. It is not nearly as good as the first day. When you first make it, you get the nice, firm, tangy strawberries mixed with the creamy risotto. When you reheat, you get cooked strawberries, which don’t provide the same contrast. If you reheat on the stove, it will stick because of the cheese. So microwave is best. Be sure to make a ring of risotto so you don’t end up with a cold center.

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