Risotto is a high-class dish that you don’t need to visit a fancy restaurant for. With this Simple Risotto recipe, you can cook like a 5-star chef at home!

Simple Risotto Recipe

Adding ham to risotto

Ingredients you will need:

  • 1 3/4 c. Arborio rice
  • 3 t. whole unsalted butter
  • 1 t. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 1/2 qts. stock (boil/simmer)
  • 1 leek, diced
  • 1/2 shallot, diced
  • 1 small parsnip, diced
  • 1/2 c. ham, diced
  • 1/2 c. finely shredded Parmesan

Cut down the long side of the leek. Since leeks often have a layer of dirt on or inside, it’s a good idea to give the large pieces a rinse.

Cutting a leek

Cut the whitest part of the leek, then dice into small pieces. The Rada French Chef Knife is your best bet for efficient slicing and dicing of vegetables.

Slicing a leek

Dice the 1/2 shallot.

Dicing shallot

Peel the outside of the parsnip. Discard the peeling. The Rada Vegetable Peeler is a handy tool that makes peeling a snap.

Peeling parsnip

Dice the remaining parsnip into small pieces.

Cutting parsnip

Saute 3 tablespoons whole unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil over medium heat.

Sauteing butter

When butter has sufficiently melted, add the diced leek, shallot, and parsnips to pan. Add a pinch of salt to help with moisture extraction. Before the vegetables can brown, turn down the heat.

Frying risotto

Add 1 3/4 cup Arborio rice. Stir until all rice grains are covered with fat. Stir, toasting rice, ensuring that rice doesn’t stick to bottom.

Stirring risotto

Once rice grains have slightly toasted, add several scoops of stock. Allow dish to simmer.

Adding stock to risotto

As the stock evaporates, continue to add more stock. Do not salt at this stage, as further ingredients will add much salt. Allow it to simmer until rice is tender, but still has a slight firmness. Continue to stir.

Simmering risotto

At the end, add 1/2 cup diced ham. Stir.

Adding ham to risotto

Add 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese. Stir.

Adding Parmesan cheese to risotto

Remove from heat. Serve and enjoy!

Risotto pic 13

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Simple Risotto Video Transcript


Simple Risotto Video Transcript

Hello, and welcome to Rada’s test kitchen. My name is Chef Blake Landau, and today we’re going to be making risotto. It’s a simple risotto, I’m going to show you the basics so you can make whatever type you want. The ingredients we’re using includes Arborio rice, which is a fat grain. I found it in the health section at the grocery store. It is an Italian rice, but you want to find a fatter grain. There’s fine, there’s medium, but this is a fat grain. We have some butter, a little bit of extra virgin olive oil, which is in our pan, this is a leek, we’re going to try to use the lightest color. Have a parsnip. We have some diced ham, parmesan cheese, and some beef stock boiling on the range. We want it hot to better cook the rice.

We’re going to start with the leek. Try to use the lighter part of the leek. Trim it on each side, cut it down the long way. There’s generally a little bit of dirt in leek, we’re going to wash this up just to be on the safe side. Now that’s rinsed between each layer. I want to cut these into small enough bite sizes that are no much bigger than our ham. They will break down.

This leek is what I would use instead of a white onion. A lot of risottos call for a white or yellow onion. You can use a shallot, too, we’re going to do a little bit of both. Good flavor on both. With the parsnip we’re going to peel, this has a layer of wax you need to get through. Basically this is going to have a carrot flavor.

We’re going to start out with extra virgin olive oil in the pan. We’re going to add about three tablespoons of butter, let it melt down. Once there’s enough fat in the bottom of the pan, add vegetables and start sweating those guys out over medium heat. This is a part where you have to add a pinch of salt to extract some moisture over the vegetables. I’m going to watch how much salt I add to this once since I am also adding ham and parmesan cheese, which are both salty.

I really like to add oil with the butter because the oil prevents the butter from browning, makes it last little bit longer. We’re getting a bit of browning going on here, so I’m going to turn down the heat. You don’t need to brown them. Here, I’ve got my Arborio rice rinsed. In the packaging when it moves around the rice creates almost a rice flour and would make this cloudy so I rinsed it off. Now I add the rice in there. You want to have enough butter and oil in there to completely cover the rice grains with some kind of fat. If you don’t have enough butter you can add some extra virgin olive oil or corn oil.

So now we want to almost pan fry the rice, just toast it a little bit. Make sure the rice isn’t sticking to the bottom. Once the grains have slightly toasted we have our stock here. You can use chicken or vegetable or beef stock. If you use a beef stock you’re getting a browner color. After the rice gets toasted we’ll go ahead and add the hot beef stock right to the pan. In traditional risotto you’d add a wine glaze but we’re going to skip that and just do it simple. Add just enough of that stock and keep it at a nice simmer. As the stock simmers it concentrates and tenderizes the rice grains. You can see it turn almost an amber color.

No doubt that the rice swells up quite a bit so you want to give yourself room in the pan for the rice to double in size, at least. It’s important that you don’t salt it. That parmesan cheese you’re going to add has enough salt. If you do feel like you need salt in there, then you can add at the end, but I would never add before then. You can start to see the rice swelling. Once you get to that point, you’re ready for the last few scoops of stock. You can sample the rice, find out by biting it to see if it’s tender and done. It still has a little firmness, so we’ll let that simmer a little bit more.

Because I didn’t want to flavor the rice too much with the ham, I’m adding it at the end. And then go ahead and add some parmesan cheese, finely grated, good stuff. The parmesan cheese should add creaminess, and that’s what you’re looking for in a risotto.

So that was the basic rundown on how to make a simple, ham and leek risotto. You can change it up, you can use mushrooms, change the stock, you can use vegetable or chicken, change the appearance, but the basis is you sauté vegetables with enough fat so that when you add strained and cleaned rice, you can coat it with the fat, toast it, deglaze it, and keep adding stock and parmesan cheese at the end. If you want to cook and serve it right away then you can put it on a plate. If you want to cook and save it we put it on a cookie sheet tray, put it in the fridge to cool down until you can then scoop into a container. If you want to reheat it, put it in a pain with some hot stock, stir it until it warms up. I hope you enjoyed this show. Be sure to leave some comments and feedback, and tell us how you like it. Thank you for watching!

End of Video Transcript