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Strawberry Risotto

  • 1 hour
  • Medium
  • First Courses
This seasonal risotto recipe made using fresh strawberries is perfect for spring.

Ingredients: Per 4 servings

  • 6 cups water
  • 1 onion, small
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 carrot, small
  • 2 ½ oz butter
  • 12 oz Carnaroli rice
  • ½ cup sparkling white wine
  • 8 oz strawberries
  • salt to taste
  • 1 ½ oz grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Preparation:

Prepare a vegetable broth:

Wash and peel the carrot, celery and half an onion. Place them in a pot and cover with cold water. Place on the heat and bring to a boil. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes from the boil. Season with salt only at the end of cooking.

Once the broth is ready, prepare the risotto:

Carefully wash the strawberries. Remove the leaves and dice all but 2 or 3 berries, which you should leave whole for the garnish.

Melt 1/3 of the butter in a pot over medium heat.  Then add the other half onion finely chopped and stir. Once the onion is golden, but before it browns, add the rice. Stir and toast the rice until it absorbs the butter and is almost transparent.

Add the wine to the pot and stir. Once the wine has almost completely evaporates, begin to add the broth a couple ladlefuls at a time. Wait for the broth to almost completely evaporate before adding more broth.

After 12 or 13 minutes of cooking the risotto, add the chopped strawberries. Stir and continue cooking by adding more broth until done. The rice should need another 4 or 5 minutes.

Taste the rice for flavor and doneness. If necessary, adjust the salt. As soon as the rice is al dente, remove it from the heat. Mount the rice by stirring in the grated Parmigiano Reggiano and the remaining butter.

To plate the risotto, try garnishing it with finely diced or sliced strawberries.

Chef's tips

To jazz up your strawberry risotto, consider adding a drop or two of traditional Balsamic Vinegar from Modena directly on the rice.

Food History

Strawberries originally come from the Alpine region where they have been growing wildly for thousands of years. Even in Ancient Rome, these red fruits were considered a delicious food.

Most likely due to the fact that their shape vaguely recalls that of a heart, strawberries have always been considered a symbol of love. According to an ancient legend, strawberries were created out of the tragic love of the goddess Venus had for Adonis. There is another famous story about strawberries that occurred during the time of Louis XIV, King of France. At that time, the ladies of the court use strawberries as a symbol of her affection. If a woman wanted to let a man know that she was interested in him, all she had to do is eat strawberries in his presence.

Perhaps this is the reason by the French court was the first to try to cultivate strawberries. Until the middle of the XVII century, in fact, strawberries grew exclusively in the wild. The botanists of the Sun King were the first to be able to cultivate them, first by transplanting wild plants in the royal garden and later crossing them the European varieties with ones from South America. The new strawberries were larger, less delicate and easier to grow.

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