If someone told you they were going to make strawberry risotto, your first reaction would probably be one of two things: “is that a dessert” or “why, that sounds awful.” Oddly enough when I was thinking of making the dish, neither thought crossed my mind. It being summer, the time when fresh strawberries are plentiful, I figured strawberry risotto could be a light summery dish. The key was to make it in such a way that wasn’t overly sweet. With my grocery store featuring three containers of strawberries for only $5, I had to jump at the deal. The question was how can I eat that many strawberries without making a pie.
My initial plan was to just make risotto how I normally would and add strawberries near the end of the cooking time. However, not wanting this meal to be awful, I looked for someone who had pioneered such a crazy endeavor before me. After a quick search I came across the Pig Pig’s Corner blog which featured a strawberry risotto with balsamic vinegar. The description sounded great and was exactly what I was looking for. I made a few slight alterations including the addition of chicken stock rather than veggie stock and onions instead of shallots. If you want to keep this being vegetarian, you’ll need to use veggie stock.
For those that are still skeptical, this dish is not overly sweet and is a nice light dish that would go great with a salad of radishes and other summer vegetables. The portion size of the recipe was to serve 2 people a nice size dish. You can double and serve 4 or keep it as is and serve 4 as a small appetizer.
Adapted from Pig Pig’s Corner
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
~3/4 cups arborio rice (200g to be exact)
~3/4 cups strawberries, coarsely chopped (200g)
1 medium yellow onion, 1/4″ dice
1/2 cup white wine
2-3 cups chicken stock
~5 leaves fresh basil
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup strawberries, finely chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (a nice aged one would be best)
Heat stock in a small pot over low heat and cover.
In a small bowl mix 1/2 cup finely chopped strawberries and balsamic vinegar and let sit while cooking risotto
Add butter and oil to large sauce pan or dutch oven. Heat over medium low heat. When oil is hot, add onions and stir continuously to avoid them from browning or burning. When onions are translucent, about 6-7 minutes, add rice. Continue stirring for about 3-4 minutes, also to avoid browning.
Add white wine and increase heat to medium. Stir until wine is completely absorbed and then begin to add heated chicken stock, one ladle at at time. Upon first addition, stir risotto until the stock has been absorbed, once it has, add second ladle. Continue process until stock is about 3/4 used up and risotto is nearly cooked, but still runny. At this point, add 3/4 cup of coarsely chopped strawberries, Parmesan cheese, basil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Continue adding last portions of stock until rice is cooked, but still slightly al dente (you don’t want it to be mushy or too crunchy, a fine balance).
Serve risotto with strawberry topping. Enjoy!!