Heartwarming Saffron Risotto

Saffron Risotto

Saffron Risotto is a versatile dish made primarily from rice and pure saffron that is slowly cooked in chicken or vegetable stock until it achieves a desired consistency and texture. It may also contain other ingredients including meat, vegetables, seafood or mushrooms. This spectacular dish possesses an amazing history and it can be a treat for people with different taste preferences. It is also known to be a staple dish in the Italian culinary world.

Now, the dish has successfully made its way into the hearts of people from different food cultures around the globe. The history of this Italian delicacy goes back in time to the 14th century BC. During that era, rice was brought to Spain and Sicily by the Arabs. Italy featured an ideal place with humid weather and bounteous flat lands to grow short-grain rice. Since then, rice became an important part of the Italian food culture and is loved and enjoyed by Italian people of all ages. Here we have brought an easy Risotto recipe that you can try at home with just a few ingredients in your pantry.

Serving size: The recipe yields 4 servings.

Saffron Risotto Ingredients

  • Arborio Rice (1 ½ cups or 10.22oz)
  • Finely chopped Shallots (2 medium-sized)
  • Pure Saffron (1 teaspoon or 0.3g)
  • Water (1/2 cup)
  • Lemon Juice (1/2 cup)
  • Chicken Stock (3 ¼ cups or 27.05oz)
  • Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese (2 tablespoons or as required)
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (1 tablespoon)
  • Table salt or Sea salt (according to taste)
  • Pepper for Seasoning 

Preparation of Cheese Saffron Risotto

  • Wash and then soak rice into the water for about 15 minutes to get rid of the surface starch. Slowly the rice will absorb water and this will help us in cooking.
  • Grate at least 2 tablespoons of Parmesan Cheese for this recipe to give it that thick creamy texture and flavour. You can always add more cheese over the top so it depends on how much you would like to have.
  • Mix half a cup of lemon juice with half a cup of water. This will be required to give this dish that required an acidic tinge.
  • Take two medium-sized shallots and remove their skin. Cut them into halves and remove the inner core and lay them flat on the cutting board while gently applying some pressure with one hand. You have to cut them lengthwise first and then stack them over each other and cut them horizontally. In this way, you can dice them properly.

Cooking Instructions

  • Take a saucepan and pour some good quality stock into it. Turn on the stove and reduce the heat to a minimum just to keep the stock warm
  • Now in a large frying pan, add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Turn on the stove and bring the heat to medium-low. When the oil Is warm enough, add the finely diced shallots into it and saute them until translucent.
  • We do not need the shallots to be golden brown so at this point add rice into it. Now you have to be extremely gentle while stirring it as it may break the rice. When the rice is completely mixed with oil and shallots, it is time to add the lemon water mixture to it.
  • Let it simmer for about 2 to 3 minutes. Now take one full ladle of chicken stock and pour it into the mixture. Let it cook until the rice almost absorbs all the stock. Continue stirring occasionally to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Repeat the above process and add a ladle full of stock into it. Wait until it is absorbed by the rice.
  • Continue this process until you are left with one or two ladles of stock. At this point add your beautiful saffron threads to give it that signature bright yellow colour and an enchanting heartwarming aroma. Stir it occasionally and then add the leftover stock, salt and pepper.
  • Cook it until all the stock is completely absorbed by the rice. Now add parmesan cheese over the top and do a taste check. Serve it in a beautiful dish and enjoy this filling recipe with your family.

Some useful tips

  1. Always use fresh chicken or meat stock to have the best taste.
  2. It is better to cook shallots on low heat as it will give your dish a deep palatable flavour.
  3. Never overcook your saffron as it will affect its taste. Add saffron when your dish is almost cooked. If you do not want to add whole saffron threads, you can grind them in a pestle and mortar and then dissolve them in a teaspoon of warm water for about 2 minutes before adding.

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