A Sophisticated and Classic Italian Dish
When I’m cooking for a special guest, I like to impress them with my saffron risotto. The sweetness of saffron paired with the nuttiness of aged nut cheese transforms this risotto into a wonderful dish. You’ll be surprised at how easy risotto is to make. I found the key is using Vialone Nano rice as a base. Today, I’m excited to share my secret recipe with you.
Recipe from the story Dolce
Yield: 4-6 servings Prep Time: 1 hour soaking Cook Time: 20 minutes
1 ¼ cups Vialone Nano rice*
3 cups homemade vegetable stock or low-sodium vegetable stock
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1 tablespoon EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
2 tablespoons plant-based butter**
1 small garlic clove minced
1 shallot minced
¼ cup white wine
5 oz. grated artisan aged nut cheese (save a little to serve on top of the risotto). ***
Salt and white pepper to taste
- Soak the saffron threads in two tablespoons of hot water for an hour.
- Drizzle a tablespoon of EVOO in a large pot over medium heat. Add the minced shallots, occasionally stirring until onions are translucent.
- Add the garlic to the pot along with a dash of salt and white pepper.
- Next, add the Vialone Nano rice and a splash of white wine. Simmer until the rice has absorbed the wine. Add the saffron to the pot (with the water you soaked it in) and about a cup of the vegetable stock.
- Simmer and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat this step with the remaining vegetable stock until the rice is tender and creamy.
- Stir in the butter. Then take the risotto off the heat.
- Add the grated cheese and mix it into the risotto.
- Plate the risotto, and drizzle a small amount of EVOO over the dish. Serve with the remaining artisan cheese. Buon appetito!
* Vialone Nano rice grows in the southern province of Verona, Italy. I’ve only found it online. You can replace the Vialone Nano with Arborio rice, and the recipe will still turn out fantastic.
**For the butter, I use a brand called Earth Balance because it has zero cholesterol. They come in sticks and work wonders when baking. You can find it in the natural foods section of the grocery store.
*** You can always substitute the nut cheese with a traditional Fontina or Taleggio cheese. Either one melts perfectly into the dish.
***For a nut based cheese, I like Miyoko’s Kitchens’ Rustic Alpine Aged Nut Cheese.