Risotto is one of my favorite dishes. It is elegant, comforting, and in my opinion, not as difficult to prepare as its reputation would have you believe. 

There are innumerable ways to adapt risotto, but I chose to utilize one of Spring's most humble bounty: carrots. They lend a subtle sweetness and a beautiful orange color to this creamy dish.

Try this method below and serve as a vegetarian entree or alongside a roast chicken and simple green salad.

(serves 4)


1 onion
1 tbs olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
1 1/2 cups shredded carrot, about 3 carrots
1/4 cup white wine, optional
1 cup arborio rice, or short-grain rice
5 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water
1/4 cup of parmigiano reggiano, plus extra for grating

Bring the stock or water up to a simmer in a large pot while you prep the other ingredients. Have a ladle ready.

Finely dice the onion. In a separate pot or dutch oven, sweat the onion in 1 tbs of olive oil over medium heat . Add a pinch of salt to draw out the liquid in the onions.  Cut the garlic into a small dice and add to the onions. Continue to sweat until the onions are soft, about 10 minutes. 

While the onions are cooking, grate the carrots. Add to the onions and saute for about 1 minute. Add the rice to the onions and carrots and stir to coat in the oil and slightly toast for about 1 minute. The rice should turn a bit translucent at this point. If using wine, pour in now to deglaze. Allow the wine to reduce completely. 

At this point, set a timer for 25 minutes. 

Turn heat down to low. Add in 2 ladles full of the stock or water. Stir the risotto and allow to simmer very lightly while the rice absorbs the liquid. Once it has almost completely absorbed, add another ladle or 2 of liquid, stirring frequently while it absorbs. Continue this method until all of the stock or water has been used or the 25 minutes have passed. When done, the risotto should be thin (meaning if you pour onto a plate, it should run slightly, not thick), yet creamy, and the rice should still have a slight bite to it, or al dente. 

Add the 1/4 cup of parmigiano. Don't test for salt until after this step as the parmigiano will add saltiness. Add more salt if necessary. 

Spoon onto a plate and grate a generous amount of parmigiano and add freshly cracked pepper.

Subscribe to feast + harmony