Savor The Ranch: Strawberry Summer Riscotto


Visiting culinary expert Nani Steele’s Strawberry Risotto recipe offers a unique twist on the delicious classic Italian comfort food. In fact, it is a northern Italian specialty, where it is called ‘risotto alle fragole.’ The strawberries impart a tannic, wine-like flavor into the rice, and also infuse it with vitamin C and antioxidants. Enjoy this rose-colored savory dish as an appetizer or main course. 

Recipe Serves 4


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small white onion
  • 1 ¼ cups arborio rice or farro
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons fresh lemon thyme leaves, plus more for garnish
  • Salt
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 ¼ 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


  1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium skillet. 
  2. Stir in the onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. 
  3. Stir in the rice, thyme, and a pinch of salt and cook for 1 minute; add the wine and half the berries. 
  4. Cook until the wine is almost evaporated.
  5. Gradually add ½ cup simmering stock, stirring until the stock is fully incorporated.
  6. Repeat with the remaining stock, 1/2 cup at a time, cooking until the rice is al dente, about 30 minutes overall.
  7. Add the crème fraîche and lemon zest towards the end, stirring vigorously until incorporated and the rice is creamy.
  8. Stir in the remaining strawberries and cook for 1 minute.
  9. Season to taste with more salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed.
  10. Divide the risotto among 4 bowls and grate cheese over each serving.
  11. Garnish each with a few fresh berries, if desired, and a bit more fresh thyme to finish.