Appetizers and Side dishes — By Ben on 08 July 2009
Strawberry and Basil Risotto

Strawberry and Basil Risotto

[donotprint]It feels like forever since the last time I got creative in the kitchen. I haven’t stopped cooking, but my menus consist lately of quick and easy dishes and many others that I have already posted on this blog. The beautiful weather we’ve had in Central Ohio in the last couple of weeks makes me want to spend more time outdoors and less in the kitchen.

But yesterday I decided to make something daring and creative, strawberry and basil risotto. This dish was inspired by last month’s ingredients of the Royal Foodie Joust. I didn’t have time to participate but the ingredients chosen by LK of Healthy Delicious, strawberries, basin and grain, intrigued me so much I decided to make something with them, anyway. I used some locally grown strawberries that I bought at the store and some of the basil from the little herb garden I started last month. That makes me even prouder of this dish.[/donotprint]

Strawberry and Basil Risotto

Strawberry and Basil Risotto
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Notes: •Arborio rice is a fat, starchy, medium grain rice and it is the most common rice to make risotto in the U.S. Other rices that work well are Roma, Vialone, Carnaroli, Nano and Maratelli. The regular short or long grain rice will not work for this recipe. •The cooking time for risotto is about 30 minutes. You must stay close to the skillet the whole time stirring and testing the rice. It might look like a long time, but trust me, it is worth every minute you spend watching it. The afterthoughts: •This risotty was creamier than the first one I made some months ago. I attribute this to the use of butter instead of olive oil. •Although I used a little bit too much salt, the taste was still very good. I will have to make it again and watch the use of seasoning to decide how much I really like it, but the strawberry and basil flavors were still a good combination with the rice. •Food styling tip: I was expecting a vibrant red color from the use of strawberries, but when I added the basil/strawberry mixture to the rice it took an ugly brown color that wasn't very appetizing. To fix this I added a little bit of red food coloring that worked great.
  • •2 TBSP butter
  • •1/2 cup chopped onion
  • •1 cup Arborio rice
  • •4-6 cups chicken broth, warm
  • •3/4 cup strawberries
  • •1 TBSP fresh basil
  • •salt and pepper to taste
  1. Blend strawberries and basil with 1 cup of chicken broth.
  2. Melt butter in a cast-iron skillet or any other heavy skillet. Add chopped onion and saute.
  3. Add Arborio rice and mix well with the onion. Add the strawberry mix, bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer and stir constantly until the liquid is absorbed.
  4. When the strawberry mix is absorbed add one cup of warm chicken broth. When that cup of broth is absorbed add another cup of broth and keep stirring until it is absorbed. Repeat one more time.
  5. At this point the rice should be al dente. Taste and adjust seasoning. If the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is still not tender enough, add another cup of broth.
  6. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

¡Buen provecho!

Strawberry and Basil Risotto

[donotprint]This is my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging hosted this week by Cheryl from Gluten Free Goodness.[/donotprint]

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About Author

grew up around food. His family owned a restaurant in Mexico City and he spent a big deal of his childhood helping and learning after school the art of creating delicious dishes from simple ingredients. He created this blog to share his kitchen adventures with the world.

(34) Readers Comments

  1. Fabulous photo, the colors are stunning! I bet it tastes good too:)

  2. The photo, the colours, the presentation…How creative!

    Angie’s Recipes

  3. The photo, the colours, the presentation…How creative!

    Angie’s Recipes

  4. Wow what a flavorful risotto, so innovative!

  5. I really have to try that dish before the end of the summer! A wonderful presentation and gorgeous shots!



  6. What an interesting dish. The color is gorgeous even is you had to doctor it up a bit

  7. Wow, I heard that strawberry can be used in risotto when I was in Tuscany last week and you made it, awesome!

  8. Wow! That dish looks absolutely delicious.
    Amazing pictures as usual.

  9. Yours looks absolutely gorgeous! Your photography skills are amazing! Good idea to blend the strawberries! The ones I make are always pink, I use 1/2 glass of red wine to add to the colour and put a dash of spicy and tongue numbing Sichuan pepper to garnish.

  10. Wow, the colour is striking! I’ve never had strawberries as the star of a main meal before, but I have to admit this looks pretty interesting. The combination of strawberries and chicken stock is so unusual — how did it taste?

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