Risotto is a popular dish in restaurants around the world. It is made by combining rice and broth to create a creamy, delicious meal. Risotto is often served as a complete meal, but can also be a side dish for meaty main courses. In just a few simple steps, you can learn how to make risotto in time for dinner.
The two main ingredients of risotto are rice and stock. The rice is called Aborio rice, a unique medium-to-short grain variety. When cooked, it becomes sticky rice, which makes it ideal for preparing risotto. The Aborio rice needs to be fried briefly first and then stock is stirred in to give it flavor and the desired consistency.
You can learn how to make risotto according to your health preferences and conditions. Vegetarian risotto is becoming popular, and includes asparagus, artichokes, mushrooms and other veggies. Other cultures prefer a meatier version, with beef, chicken or poultry pieces added in. The most popular choice for chefs and consumers alike prefer Risotto Milanese, a version made with saffron.
Health Benefits of Risotto
Risotto nutrition comes mainly from rice (see health benefits of rice). The secondary nutrient source is the ingredients you add to the dish. Aborio rice has only 160 calories per cup and is cholesterol-free. It provides potassium, magnesium and calcium that add strength to bones and improve the function of muscles. Rice also carries smaller amounts of protein to help you feel satiated.
Meaty risotto will contain more iron, which transports oxygen to every part of the body. Iron is energy-boosting and is good for neurological processes. Risotto with seafood like shrimp or salmon will be high in anti-inflammatory omega fatty acids. Vegetable risotto is full of vitamins which support everything from your immune system to vision.
How to Make Risotto
- 1 tbsp. butter preferably unsalted
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil or other vegetable oils
- ¼ cup onion finely chopped
- 1 cup rice Aborio
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- ½ cup Vermouth or dry white wine
- In a pan, heat both the butter and cooking oil. Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add the rice and coat it with butter-oil. Stir rapidly using a wooden spoon and cook until rice is brown.
- Stir in vermouth or wine, stirring vigorously. Add stock one spoon at a time with the wooden spoon. With every ladle, stir rapidly and constantly to combine with rice. This should take about half an hour. Once creamy and the stock is finished, cook the rice until it is tender but with a bit of a firm bite.
Knowing how to cook risotto is a culinary skill every cook should master. When cooked, serve with butter, meats, seafood, vegetables or parmesan cheese.