Risotto is one the hubby’s favorite side dishes. Whenever I ask him what he would like for Sunday dinner, nine times out of ten it will include some type of risotto. Risotto can be a bit tricky to master when you first start trying out recipes, but once you have your technique down it’s a breeze. You really want to get that nice overall creamy texture but still have a slightly al dente texture to your rice.
I got a bit creative with this recipe when my husband came to me with a special request per a recipe he stumbled across online...a risotto with strawberries. I thought it sounded interesting and I was definitely up for the challenge. During my research I was surprised to find that strawberry risotto was a popular dish in the 80’s and was a featured recipe in some very popular cookbooks of the time. I figured it was time to bring it back!
One of my initial concerns was that the strawberries would make the risotto oddly sweet, but I read that this would not be the case. To my surprise the risotto was not overly sweet at all! You actually only get a tiny bit of sweetness when you happen to bite into a bit of strawberry that held together during cooking. This recipe is definitely a savory dish and the Gorgonzola gives the dish that unexpected bite that I was looking for!
Strawberry Risotto with Gorgonzola
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- ¾ cup chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup uncooked arborio rice
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth simmer broth to warm before beginning risotto
- ¼ cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese recommended
- 1 ½ cups chopped and mashed fresh strawberries
- Heat olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy bottom sauté pan over medium heat.
- Add onion and cook until softened and opaque, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, salt and pepper, stir and cook about 1 more minute.
- Add rice and stir to combine. Continue stirring and cooking until the rice is just toasted and the edges are translucent.
- Add wine and stir to combine. Cook until the rice absorbs the wine, stirring constantly.
- Add warm broth, a ladle at a time, stirring after each added ladle and constantly stirring while cooking. Wait to add each ladle of broth until the rice has almost soaked up the last addition.
- Taste test the rice after you have added about 3 cups of broth to see if it is done. It should be al dente but a bit chewy and not completely mushy.
- The risotto is ready when it has a thick and creamy consistency.
- Add one more ladle of broth, remaining 2 tablespoons butter, gorgonzola cheese, and strawberries. Stir to combine and keep stirring until butter and cheese has melted.
- Serve immediately.