6 Chefs Share Their Favourite Risotto Recipes

A comforting risotto might seem like winter dish, but with asparagus and scallop season in full swing, now’s the time to transform it into a summery supper. Here six chefs share their favourite recipes.

Roast Butternut Squash Risotto – Michael Reid, M Restaurants

INGREDIENTS 

  • 60g of butter, diced

  • Vegetable oil

  • 2 onions, finely chopped

  • 200g of risotto rice

  • 100ml of dry white wine

  • 1.5lt of vegetable stock, simmering 

  • 200g of parmesan cheese, freshly grated, plus extra to serve 

  • Pumpkin seeds, to garnish

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the roasted squash purée and crispy squash skins: 

  • 1 butternut squash, cut into wedges

  • 4 thyme sprigs

  • 60g of butter

  • Vegetable oil, for deep-frying the skins 

For the brown butter: 

  • 125g of butter, diced

  • 2 thyme sprigs

  • ½ a lemon, juiced 

METHOD 

  1. Roast the squash early in the day, so the skins have time to dry. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Set aside one wedge of squash, then wrap the remaining wedges in kitchen foil with the thyme sprigs and salt and pepper to taste and roast for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Use a spoon to scoop out and discard the seeds. Scrape out all the fresh from the skins and reserve the flesh and skins separately.

  2. Melt 60g of butter in a large pan over a medium-heat high until the butter is a hazelnut colour, whisking constantly so it doesn’t burn. Add the squash flesh, reduce the heat to medium and stir for ten minutes. Transfer to a food processor and blitz until smooth. Pass through a sieve and season to taste. Set aside until required.

  3. To make the crispy skins for garnishing, deep-fry and leave to dry.

  4. To make the brown butter, melt the butter in a large pan over a medium-heat high until the butter is a hazelnut colour, whisking constantly so it doesn’t burn. Add the thyme sprigs and lemon juice, then remove the pan from the heat and set aside for 30 minutes to infuse and cool. Pass the butter through a sieve lined with a double layer of muslin, then set aside until required. 

  5. To make the risotto, melt 60g of butter with 1tbsp of oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. When it is foaming, add the onions and fry, stirring, until they are soft and translucent. Add the risotto rice and continue stirring for five minutes or until the rice absorbs the butter. Add the white wine, turn up the heat and leave it to bubble until it evaporates.

  6. Slowly add the stock, stirring constantly and making sure each ladleful is absorbed before adding the next. Continue to add the stock until the rice is al dente.

  7. Just before serving, peel and finely slice the reserved squash wedge. Heat a thin layer of oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the squash dice and sauté for 2-3 minutes until they are tender and hot, then set aside. Reheat the squash puree and the brown butter at the last minute.

  8. Stir the squash puree and 200g of parmesan cheese into the risotto and season to taste. 

  9. Divide the risotto among four bowls. Drizzle the brown butter around the edge of each portion and top with the sautéed squash and crispy squash skins. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and serve immediately.

Visit MRestaurants.co.uk

Pea, Parmesan & Pancetta Risotto - Alex Head, Social Pantry

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pack of cubed pancetta

  • 2 tbsp of olive oil

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 350g of risotto rice

  • 150ml of white wine

  • 1.5lt of hot chicken or veg stock, made with 2 stock cubes

  • 125g of unsalted butter

  • 300g of frozen peas

  • 100g of baby leaf spinach

  • 100g of parmesan, grated

  • Zest of 1 lemon, to garnish

METHOD

  1. Fry the pancetta in a heavy-based wide saucepan with 1 tbsp of oil until nice and crispy, then remove with a draining spoon and leave to the side.

  2. Heat the rest of the olive oil in the saucepan and gently fry the onion and garlic. Stir occasionally until softened – about 10 minutes.

  3. Add the rice and allow the oil to coat it. Stir for 1 minute before adding in the wine. Allow to simmer and reduce for another minute.

  4. Now keep the heat to a simmer (one trick for a good risotto is to not let it boil at any point). Start slowly adding the stock ladle by ladle, allowing the rice to absorb the stock after each addition. This will take around 25-30 minutes.

  5. Once half the stock is in, add half the unsalted butter to the pan and stir it into the rice.

  6. Keep adding the stock and stirring gently until the risotto is creamy in appearance and the rice is al dente. You may not need to add all the stock.

  7. Once the rice is cooked, add the peas and pancetta and stir for another 5 minutes with a final ladle of stock.

  8. Take the pan off the heat and add the rest of the butter, the spinach and two-thirds of the parmesan. Taste the risotto and season to taste.

  9. Serve in bowls and garnish with the lemon zest, some cracked black pepper and the rest of the parmesan.

Visit SocialPantry.co.uk

Mushroom Risotto - Theo Randall, The InterContinental

 INGREDIENTS

  • 250g of carnoroli risotto rice

  • 1 tbsp of chopped onion

  • 1 tbsp of chopped celery

  • 500g of chopped chestnut or portobello mushrooms

  • 2 tbsp of olive oil

  • 1lt of vegetable stock

  • 1 tbsp of chopped flat leaf parsley

  • 10g of dried porcini mushrooms (soaked and drained)

  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

  • ½ a tsp of thyme, chopped

  • 2 red peppers

  • 2 yellow peppers

  • 4 ripe plum tomatoes

  • 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 white onion, finely chopped

  • 3 celery sticks, finely chopped

  • ½ a glass of white wine

  • 1 litre hot chicken stock

  • 200g of parmesan cheese, freshly grated

  • Handful of basil leaves, roughly torn

  • 75g of unsalted butter

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

 METHOD

  1. In a hot large frying add 1 tbsp of olive oil and the mushrooms. A lot of water will come out of the mushrooms so empty the mushrooms of the liquid into a colander and add 1 tbsp of olive oil sliced garlic and the chopped thyme to the frying pan you cooked the mushrooms in. Return the cooked mushrooms to the pan immediately and add the soaked chopped porcini mushrooms and their liquid and cook until the mushrooms have become syrupy and look juicy but not dry. Season and keep to one side.

  2. In a straight sided saucepan add 1 tbsp of olive oil and cook the onions and celery until they are soft. Add the rice and cook so the rice has absorbed the olive oil and is frying but not getting any colour.

  3. Start adding the stock one ladle at a time leaving enough of a gap so the stock get absorbed by the rice. Make sure you use a wooden spoon and stir all the time as this will release the starch in the rice that will make the risotto really creamy.

  4. After 12 mins add the cooked mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes so the mushrooms get absorbed into the rice.

  5. Add another ladle of stock. Then add the parsley and another tbsp of olive oil. Take 1/2 a clove of garlic and crush it with some salt to a paste and add to the risotto to give the risotto a lovely richer flavour. Stir continuously so the liquid is reduced but is wet enough so that when you shake the pan you get waves. Check the seasoning and serve in hot bowls.

Visit TheoRandall.com

Caramelised Scallops, Ginger & Pumpkin Risotto - Jun Tanaka, The Ninth

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 diver-caught scallops, cut in half

  • 25g of unsalted butter

  • 25g of ginger 

  • ½ a bunch of chives, finely chopped

  • 1 lemon 

  • 25ml of rapeseed oil

  • 25g pumpkin seeds, toasted

  • 200g of carnaroli risotto rice

  • ½ an onion, finely chopped

  • 25g of unsalted butter

  • 75ml of white wine

  • 20g of parmesan, grated

  • 4 tbsp of pumpkin puree

  • Squeeze of lemon

  • 750ml of chicken stock

For the pumpkin puree:

  • 400g of pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and chopped

  • 50g of unsalted butter

  • 100ml of chicken stock

METHOD

  1. To make the pumpkin puree, melt the butter in a saucepan and add the pumpkin. Season and cover with a lid. Sweat for 10 minutes, pour in the chicken stock and cook until soft. Pour into a blender and blitz until smooth.

  2. For the risotto, melt the butter in a pan, add the onions and sweat for 2 minutes, add the rice and coat the rice in the butter. Pour in the white wine and reduce until dry. Season and add a couple of ladles of hot chicken stock. Simmer until the rice has absorbed the stock and then add more stock. Keep repeating the process for 15 minutes, stirring often. When the rice is nearly cooked but still al dente, add the pumpkin puree, parmesan and lemon juice. Check the seasoning and finish with chives.

  3. Mix the ginger, chives, lemon juice and rapeseed oil in a small bowl. Season.

  4. Pour a little olive oil in a frying pan, season the scallops and place them in the pan. Cook for 2 minutes, add the butter, flip over and remove from the pan immediately.

  5. To serve, spoon the risotto into a bowl, place the scallops on top, add a small teaspoon of the chive and ginger on each scallop and finish with toasted pumpkin seeds.

Visit TheNinthLondon.com

Millet Risotto With Asparagus - Daylesford

INGREDIENTS

  • 50g of butter

  • 1 leek, finely chopped

  • 1 small stick celery, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 130g of quinoa

  • 130g of millet

  • 150ml of white wine

  • 900ml of chicken or vegetable stock

  • 2 tbsp of parsley, chopped

  • 2 tbsp of chives, chopped

  • 1 tbsp of tarragon, chopped

  • 2 handfuls of watercress leaves, chopped

  • Squeeze of lemon juice

  • 50g of soft cheese, to serve

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

  1. Melt the butter in a large pan and once foaming add the chopped leek, celery and garlic. Add a little salt and pepper and sweat over a medium heat for 10 minutes until soft and translucent.

  2. Tip the quinoa and millet into the pan and stir well to coat the grains in the butter and vegetables. Add the white wine and stir over the heat until the liquid has almost entirely been absorbed.

  3. Next add one third of the stock, bring to a gentle simmer and cook until most of the liquid has been soaked up by the grains, stirring every few minutes. Repeat with one third more of the stock and lastly, the final third.

  4. Once nearly all of the stock has been absorbed, stir in the chopped herbs and watercress followed by the lemon juice and a little more salt and pepper. Continue to cook for a minute or two, taste and adjust the seasoning adding more salt, pepper or lemon juice as needed.

  5. To serve, pile the risotto into bowls and top with the crumbled soft cheese and a garnish of your choice such as pea shoots, herbs or shavings of raw asparagus as we have done.

Visit Daylesford.com

Tomato Risotto - Harvey Trollope, Sam’s Riverside

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 litres of fresh vegetable stock

  • 2 tbsp of olive oil

  • 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 large onion, chopped as finely as possible

  • 3 garlic gloves, peeled and chopped finely

  • 600g of tinned peeled plum tomatoes

  • 400g of Arborio risotto rice

  • 1 tsp of chilli flakes

  • 1 bay leaf

  • Salt and pepper

To serve:

  • 120g of grated parmesan

  • 50g of unsalted butter

  • 1 bunch of basil leaves and stalks, roughly chopped

METHOD

  1. To begin your risotto, over a moderate heat gently sweat the onion in one tablespoon of olive oil. When softened add the garlic and chilli and cook for further two minutes. Add the tinned tomatoes, bay leaf and basil stalks. Add some salt and pepper to taste and cook for 20 to 30 minutes to concentrate the flavour.

  2. When ready to make the risotto, in another decent sized saucepan pan, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over a medium heat and add the rice. Mix for a minute or so, until the outside of a grain of rice turns translucent and the all the rice is heated through.

  3. Add a ladle of the vegetable stock and mix thoroughly until the liquid has evaporated using a wooden spoon or plastic spatula. Add the rich tomato sauce and continue to cook until the rice has absorbed the sauce.

  4. Continue adding the vegetable stock ladle by ladle, making sure the liquid has been absorbed before adding the next ladle of liquid. Continue until the rice is almost cooked but still has another two to three minutes of cooking to go.

  5. Tasting grains of rice throughout the cooking process is important, your risotto should be ready in 16 to 18 minutes depending on the rice. You want the rice to be al dente.

  6. Take the risotto off the heat, add the Parmesan, butter and some extra virgin olive oil and the basil leaves. Cover with a lid and leave to rest for five minutes.

  7. Vigorously beat in the other 50g of butter, the Parmesan and extra virgin olive oil.

  8. Check for seasoning and consistency adding salt and pepper as needed and a little extra stock if necessary.

  9. Serve in wide bowls or plates and scatter each dish with extra Parmesan. For perfect consistency, your risotto should almost, but not quite, want to move from the one side of the bowl or plate to the other.

Visit SamsRiverside.co.uk

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