Risotto alla fragola (Strawberry Risotto)

If you’re thinking ‘what the……?’ when you read the name of this dish you’re not alone. I thought the same thing when I first read it. Who puts strawberries in risotto? But you know what-it’s GOOD!! If today is the first time you’re hearing about this then today is your lucky day!!!

The original recipe for this came from one of my favorite cookbooks Twelve.  I kept seeing this recipe and I got curiouser and curiouser (yes-like Alice) about it. So I finally made it a few months ago and could’ve kicked myself for waiting so long.  So I made it again last night. How delicious. How unique. It’s a touch onion-y from the shallots cooked in butter, a bit nutty from the parmesan, a bit tart and sweet from the strawberries and the brandy adds an underlying flavor that compliments it all and it’s creamy and yummy.  I’ve adapted it a bit from the original recipe so here we go…..

 

Risotto alla fragola

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups chicken stock or water (try to use stock)
  • 1 1/2 oz butter
  • 1 medium shallot,  chopped very finely
  • 145 g (5oz) or about 6-8 ripe strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered plus 3 more small strawberries (or 2 medium ones) cut into smaller pieces (into 8ths) for garnish
  • 3 tbsp good quality brandy
  • 1/2 lb aborio (risotto) rice
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan plus extra for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Heat the stock in a large saucepan and keep it on a gentle simmer.
  2. Heat half of the butter in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, saute the shallot on low heat until it has softened and then add half of the strawberries. Cook gently for a couple of minutes and then add the brandy.  When it has evaporated add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon to coat all the rice.   Season with salt and pepper and add a ladleful of stock, stirring almost continuously to prevent the rice from sticking.
  3. When the rice has absorbed almost all of the liquid add another ladleful and continue stirring.  Make sure you move all of the rice at the bottom of the pan.  Continue stirring and adding stock for about 20-25 minutes or until the rice is soft yet firm and the texture is creamy and slightly liquid. 
  4. Add the remaining strawberries, the butter and the parmesan cheese and stir. Ladle into a bowl, top with extra parmesan and a few of the strawberries you set aside for the garnish.
  5. Helpful hints: don’t make this when you will have to stop stirring to attend to something else. Give yourself a full 30 minutes to make this from start to finish. Don’t worry if you have one more or less strawberry, it will still turn out fantastic. It’s pretty simple really.  Just ladle and stir ladle and stir. Fear not the risotto!!!

This recipe was included in a great list of fresh strawberry recipies. See the list from What’s Cookin’ Chicago here.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mrsregueiro
    Oct 03, 2012 @ 22:48:50

    Not strange at all, and totally reminds me of Italia. Looks tasty and a nice reminder of the beautiful fragolas that I ate in Orvieto.

    Reply

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