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9 Light (and Tasty) Winter Risotto Recipes

Risotto is a traditional Italian dish made from rice, which is available in all seasons. To enjoy its flavors while paying attention to its nutritional balance, here are 9 light winter risotto recipes.

Risotto is a dish generally served as an appetizer in the Italian peninsula (it sometimes happens, however, that it is used as an accompaniment to a main dish). Its origin dates back at least to the 16th century, which saw the appearance of its most famous version: risotto alla milanesa, flavored with saffron.

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Risotto revisited in 4 recipes

The traditional risotto recipe

This dish is made from rice rich in starch (such as Arborio or Carnaroli rice), browned beforehand in fat (with or without onion) then deglazed with wine (usually white. It is then cooked by gradually adding vegetable, meat or fish broth. The recipe ends with grated Parmesan, which is allowed to melt to add a creamy touch. This dish can be served with pieces of meat, fish or vegetables.

Some tips to lighten the risotto

To make this dish less caloric, without it losing its gluttony, it is possible to modify several stages of preparation :

  • measure the fat intended for browning the ingredients sparingly before adding the rice;
  • avoid the wine deglazing step;
  • favor a homemade broth or already ready, but preferably defatted;
  • limit the amount of parmesan. It is possible to use a light variety, limiting yourself to 1 tablespoon. Some recipes also recommend replacing it with 1 tablespoon of ricotta, a low-calorie Italian cream cheese, to maintain the smoothness of the original dish.

It is also advisable to incorporate vegetables and herbs chosen according to the seasons, to make this dish very tasty.

These tips modify the traditional recipe, but they make it possible to lighten the preparation of this dish. This slideshow presents 9 ideas for light winter risotto recipes, to treat yourself with relish.

Source : The art of risottoMichelin Guide

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© Shutterstock / teleginatania

2/9 –

Squash, carrot and turnip risotto
For 4 people. Peel and cut into small pieces 400 g of squash, 2 turnips and 2 carrots. Peel and finely chop 2 onions (red or white depending on taste). Prepare 1 L of vegetable broth. In a skillet, put 2 tablespoons of olive oil, add the onions and the rice. Leave to cook for 3 minutes while stirring, then add the rest of the vegetables. Brown for 2 minutes then add 1 ladle of broth, then carry out the operation again until the rice and vegetables are completely cooked. At the end of cooking, season everything with curry and cumin to taste, salt and pepper before serving.

© Shutterstock / Olga Bombologna

3/9 –

Risotto alla milanesa
For 4 people. Peel and chop ½ white onion. Prepare 1 L of defatted chicken broth. In a sauté pan, sauté the onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the rice and sauté for another 3 minutes. Add 2 ladles of broth, let the rice absorb it while mixing it, then repeat the operation several times until the rice is cooked (about 20 min). 5 minutes before the end, add 1 sachet of saffron dissolved in half a glass of broth, and a little salt and pepper. Once cooked, add 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan.

© Shutterstock

4/9 –

Mushroom risotto
For 4 people. Clean and cut into pieces 500 g of mushrooms of your choice, and divide the quantity in half. Peel and mince 2 cloves of garlic, 1 onion and 2 shallots. Sweat half the mushrooms and ½ onion in a saucepan, before pouring in 1 L of vegetable broth. Let it be for now. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil to prepare the risotto. It is possible to add the rest of the mushrooms at this time, and sweat them with the shallot, garlic and parsley, or fry them separately. Add 400 g of Carnaroli or Arborio rice. Mix well, then add a ladle of broth, until absorbed. Repeat the operation until the rice is completely cooked. Cook the mushrooms if they have not been cooked with the rice, and then serve them on it. Add a little pepper and 1 tablespoon of parmesan.

© Shutterstock / marco mayer

5/9 –

Mushroom and broccoli risotto
For 4 people. Clean and cut into pieces 500 g of broccoli and 250 g of mushrooms of your choice. Peel and mince 2 shallots. Prepare 1 L of defatted chicken broth. In a casserole dish, sauté the mushrooms, broccoli and shallots in 2 tablespoons of olive oil for 5 minutes. Then add 200 g of Arborio rice, mix then add 1 ladle of broth. Let the rice absorb it, before adding a new ladle. Repeat the operation until the rice and vegetables are cooked. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of parmesan, chopped parsley, salt and pepper.

© Shutterstock / Lyudmila Mikhailovskaya

6/9 –

Pearl barley risotto with mushrooms
For 4 people. Clean or peel and mince 200 g of mushrooms, 1 clove of garlic and 1 onion. Prepare 1L of vegetable broth. In a saucepan, sauté the onions and mushrooms for 5 minutes, with 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Then add the garlic and 250 g of pearl barley, mix and cook for 1 min while stirring. Then add half of the broth, and cook for 50 minutes over low heat, stirring regularly with a wooden spoon. Add broth as needed during cooking. Add at the end of cooking 1 tablespoon of ricotta, salt and pepper. It is possible to finish the dish by adding a little chives and some crushed cashews.

© Shutterstock / tasha_lyubina

7/9 –

Saffron and salmon risotto
For 4 people. Peel and slice 1 onion, and prepare 50 cl of defatted vegetable stock. Start cooking 250 g of salmon fillets by placing them in the oven at 180° for 15 min. Meanwhile, sweat the onion in a saucepan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil for 3 min. Then add 250 g of Arborio rice. Mix everything before pouring 1 ladle of broth. Once the latter is absorbed by the rice, carry out the operation again until it is cooked. When the salmon is done cooking, cut it into pieces. Then add it to the rice with 1 dose of saffron (previously dissolved in ½ glass of broth) and cook for 3 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper then complete the dish with 1 tablespoon of ricotta and 1 tablespoon of grated parmesan.

© Shutterstock / marco mayer

8/9 –

Barley, leek and ginger risotto
For 4 people. Peel and cut into pieces 2 leeks, 3 shallots and 1 cm of ginger. Heat 1 L of defatted vegetable broth. In a sauté pan, sauté the leeks and shallots in 2 tablespoons of olive oil for 5 minutes. Then add 350 g of pearl barley and the ginger. Mix and pour half of the broth. Cook over low heat for 50 minutes, stirring regularly and adding broth if necessary. Once the barley is cooked, add some chopped parsley, salt and pepper. It is possible to finish with 1 tablespoon of ricotta.

© Shutterstock / gowithstock

9/9 –

Risotto with lemon and prawns
For 4 people. Peel and chop 2 onions and 2 cloves of garlic. Prepare 1 L of defatted vegetable broth. Sweat the onions and the garlic cloves in a pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil for 5 min. Then add 300 g of Arborio rice and mix everything together. Pour 1 ladle of broth and let the rice absorb it, before repeating the operation until the starch is cooked. Meanwhile, cook 300 g of fresh prawns (or heat them quickly if they are already cooked) in a pan. Once the rice is cooked, add the prawns, as well as 1 tablespoon of lemon (to be dosed according to taste), 1 to 2 tablespoons of ricotta and a little chopped dill, parsley or basil, as well as salt and pepper. Cook for another 2 minutes and serve.