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
- 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
- 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.