Many people think that it is difficult to get a good risotto on the table. But nothing is less true! Making a tasty risotto is quite simple. You don’t have to be a kitchen prince or princess for it. All you need is a little patience, attention and the right step-by-step plan. And we are happy to help you with the latter, so that you too can enjoy a plate full of creamy goodness after half an hour !
Let’s get started right away.
Step 1: Get everything ready
Have all the ingredients ready and on hand. That way you won’t have to search for where you left the herbs during cooking or rush to get everything in the pan on time. It’s so easy (and fast!). When making risotto, that means doing the following:
- chop onions and/or garlic
- cut vegetables and meat to the desired size
- making (and keeping) broth warm
Step 2: Saute the ingredients
Heat oil or butter in a large pan, preferably one with a thick bottom. Gently fry the onions until translucent and after a few minutes add the garlic, vegetables and any meat, so that the ingredients can give off their flavour. This is also the time when you add dried herbs if the recipe calls for it. This mixture forms the basis for your tasty risotto!
Not all vegetables are suitable for baking directly. Spinach, mushrooms and asparagus, for example, because they become too soft and a bit slimy when you cook them for a long time with the rice. You better add these at the end.
Step 3: Bake the rice
Add the risotto rice to the rest of the ingredients in the pan and fry the grains for a minute (or two) until they look translucent. This not only gives them more taste, but you also prevent the grains from sticking together and already giving off some of their creaminess. Of course we don’t want that. So you can make a nice and creamy risotto by frying the rice for a while.
Step 4: Add moisture
When the grains have become slightly transparent but the white core is still clearly visible, you can add the first liquid. White wine is traditionally used for this. To give an extra rich taste to the dish. But you can of course also start with the broth, especially when children are eating with it.
Do not add too much moisture. Half a glass of wine or a tablespoon of hot stock is initially enough to remove the caramelized pieces from the bottom and give your risotto an extra tasteful dimension. Only when the rice has absorbed all the liquid, do you add a little warm (!) stock again. If you add cold stock, you will stop the cooking process and the whole thing will not cook evenly. In addition, the grains absorb the taste of warm broth much better!
Step 5: Making Risotto = Keep Stirring!
Making risotto requires attention. And especially at this step. You have to continuously add moisture and keep stirring, because this prevents the rice from burning. Moreover, you rub the grains together so that they release their starch and make your risotto nice and creamy. Extra creaminess? Yes, please!
Be careful, because stirring too much will also mix a lot of air into the risotto. This will cool the rice and prevent it from cooking evenly. So give your arms some rest every now and then.
Step 6: Check & season
After about 20 minutes of stirring and adding liquid, the rice is often ready. You can check if the risotto rice is good by simply tasting it (yay!). The perfect risotto is al dente: soft and yet with a small bite. So a bit al dente . When the grains are nicely al dente, turn off the heat.
Now add the last ingredients: fresh herbs, lemon, Parmesan cheese, butter or cream (for extra creaminess) and possibly some vegetables from step 2. Taste again and give the risotto a twist of pepper if necessary. Serve immediately, because if the rice is left standing for a long time, the dish will be less creamy. And that’s exactly what we’ve worked so hard for.
Sounds simple, huh? It is. Anyone can make a delicious risotto if you follow the steps above. Once you’ve mastered it, a world opens up for you, because there are so many different recipes. Curious? Be inspired by the dishes below and make a delicious risotto tonight!
Making risotto with chicken, bacon, fish or delicious vegetarian
Do you want to make a risotto with chicken? With other meat? Fish? Or maybe you have a meatless Monday and go vegetarian. Whatever you’re in the mood for, some of the tastiest risotto dishes for you:
It’s very unlikely, but do you still have a little risotto left? Then make arancini (risotto balls) and enjoy your delicious meal again. But then as a snack! Let the risotto cool for at least 8 hours in the fridge, roll into balls and successively dip them in flour, a beaten egg and breadcrumbs. You can fry them in 4-5 minutes!