Risotto: Dinner party dish favorite

This is a sponsored post, which means Roth sent me complimentary cheese to work with and also paid me to develop a recipe and share it here. These types of sponsorships allow me to continue to work via the blog as a free avenue for sharing recipes and ideas with readers.

One of our go-to dinner party dishes is risotto, both for economy and richness. I’ve partnered on this series of posts (including my pork belly omelette post last month) with Wisconsin cheesemaker, Roth Grand Cru. The Grand Cru is an Alpine-style cheese, which means Roth follows Swiss tradition and crafting, but uses Wisconsin dairy. When this style of cheese is made in Switzerland, it is called Gruyere, and the name remains regionally specific and tied to Switzerland dairying, like with champagne and other things that got their names from the region in which they started. For this recipe, I used Roth’s Grand Cru Reserve, which is aged for 6-9 months and has a deeper, more mature flavor than the 4-month aged version.

My relationship with risotto began when I chose (and then married) an Italian. From my station in another family’s kitchen during my Brooklyn nanny days, charged with making dinner that 3 pre-teens would eat, I would regularly call my now wife and ask her the proportions of risotto components since random crisper drawer veggies and arborio rice were the what I usually had to work with.

After a few frenzied calls I started to get the hang of this creamy and filling dish and now make it by feel. I’m sharing with you a recipe that will get you started, but please feel free to substitute different veggies to match what’s in season this spring around you (or whatever season it may be).

Spring Vegetable Risotto featuring Roth Grand Cru Reserve

Serves 6

Attention: This is a must-be-present to cook project; once you add the rice to the pan, there’s no stepping away to do anything else. Pour yourself a glass of the wine and plan to hang out and stir for about 20 minutes.

1. Bring 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat to a simmer.

2. Cut up any combination of onions, carrots, broccoli, pea shoots, radishes, mustard greens, mushrooms or whatever firm vegetables you have on hand to yield 1–2 cups of chopped veggies.

3. Sauté veggies in a large saucepan or French oven for 3–5 minutes in a combination of 2 tablespoons olive oil plus 1 tablespoon butter.

4. Add 1½ cup dry rice to the pan and stir to combine with the sautéed veggies. Let rice soak up the oil; sauté the mixture for two more minutes.

5. (optional) Add ½ cup dry white wine to the pan and stir frequently to allow the rice to absorb the wine.

6. Add 1 cup of the simmering broth to the pan and stir frequently to allow the rice to absorb the liquid. Add more of the simmering stock in ½-cup increments as the risotto continues to thicken and absorb the moisture. Continue this process until you don’t have any more stock.

7. Add ½ cup grated Roth Grand Cru cheese (or the traditional parmesan) to the pan and stir to combine. Garnish plates with some extra grated cheese.