Rancho La Puerta Strawberry Risotto
Inspired by a book of summer recipes from Italy, this savory Strawberry Risotto is surprisingly delicious, not at all cloying as one might suspect. The berries impart a pleasant tannic quality, as in wine-like, staining the risotto a pale rose color. Rice is traditional, but this is also delicious made with farro, an ancient wheat grain popular in Italy.
The recipe was created by Nani Steele, a featured guest during Rancho La Puerta’s Culinary Week, La Fiesta De La Cocina Que Canta,
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 small white onion
- 1 1/4 cups arborio rice or farro
- 2 to 3 teaspoons fresh lemon thyme leaves, plus more for garnish
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 1/4 cups strawberries, plus more for garnish
- 4 cups light chicken or vegetable stock or water, kept at a simmer
- 1/3 cup crème fraîche
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- Grana Padano cheese, for grating
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium skillet.
- Stir in the onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the rice, thyme, and a pinch of salt and cook for 1 minute; add the wine and half the berries.
- Cook until the wine is almost evaporated.
- Gradually add ½ cup simmering stock, stirring until the stock is fully incorporated.
- Repeat with the remaining stock, 1/2 cup at a time, cooking until the rice is al dente, about 30 minutes overall.
- Add the crème fraîche and lemon zest towards the end, stirring vigorously until incorporated and the rice is creamy.
- Stir in the remaining strawberries and cook for 1 minute.
- Season to taste with more salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed.
- Divide the risotto among 4 bowls and grate cheese over each serving.
- Garnish each with a few fresh berries, if desired, and a bit more fresh thyme to finish.