Risotto! Give me your ideas

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  • Risotto! Give me your ideas
  • Pathetically happy with myself for a successful first attempt at cooking risotto last night, super basic recipe in anticipation of ruining it but with the exception of being a bit too salty due to the stock cubes I used it was pretty damn good.

    So what’s the best alternative to salty knorr stock cubes, just buy low salt ones?

    Any way to healthify it a bit? Slightly shocked at the amount of parmesan and butter the recipe called for, although given how filling it was you probably don’t end up with much butter per portion…

    Looking forward to incorporating some saffron, I reckon that will look amazing with some roast cherry tomatoes on top…

    Well done for getting cooking!
    Use left over risotto to make arancini balls.

    Shallots are nice in the base as they melt down.

    Roast chicken dinner, carcass for stock then next day risotto.

    Premier Icon rogermoore

    Kallo stock cubes are less salty than Knorr ones (IMO).
    Salmon, Spinach, Sun Dried Tomato and Creme Fraise Risotto a favourite of ours.

    Premier Icon slowoldman

    I use Marigold stock power rather than cubes, I find it gives a better, more subtle taste. Of course if you want to fanny about a bit more you can make your own veg or light chicken stock.

    My routine is to fill a big flask with boiling water, put a big slug of marigold powder in the first addition of liquid to the risotto then top up bit by bit from the flask. That saves having a pan of stock simmering on the hob.

    A splash of white wine before the stock, allowed to boil down, adds flavour, as does a splash at the end of cooking. Forget healthy, it isn’t.

    Some ideas here How to eat


    stock pots are nicer than stock cubes, but it’s super easy to make your own stock should you be inclined, it will make a big difference to your risotto, it will also help with a fuller flavour allowing you to use less butter and parmesan (although why would you)

    add any vegetable to this, peas are easy, as are mushrooms (a nice robust shiitake one is amazing)

    Premier Icon supersessions9-2

    Second marigold. Substitute some stock with white wine. My recipe usually includes sun dried tomatoes and blue cheese.

    Love adding smoked mackerel for a nice oily fish risotto.

    One of my favourite dishes to make. One pan, loads of flavours and normally have enough stuff in the cupboards to knock one up.

    Taleggio is the king of cheeses for a risotto, smells a bit like dog shit when it’s ripe, but it’s bloody good.

    Thanks folks.

    One of my biggest regrets in life is that I’m allergic to fish, although thankfully shellfish are OK.

    Like the thermos tip, I forgot to keep stock hot and noticed it taking the heat out of the pan, but rescued it quickly enough.

    Really tempted to try and incorporate some slow cooked lamb, nicely falling apart on top of a nice glob of risotto, maybe with peas in it…


    If I use powdered stock then I put much less in than recommended otherwise it ends up way too salty, and even then I only use low salt.
    Broad beans work really well as does asparagus.


    Yes also forgot white wine. For the proper Floyd.

    Premier Icon slowoldman

    Agree with the smoked mackerel, it’s brilliant in risotto, half torn up and stirred in and the rest piled on top. Big fat prawns are good. Waitrose do some lovely “lightly smoked salmon fillets”. Half of one of those seared on the skin side but flesh still underdone, is really good sitting on top of a fairly plain risotto.

    Premier Icon Riksbar

    I find a splash of vermouth in early gives more flavour variation. Second the homemade stock and shallots. Bacon and rosemary is another good combo.

    Premier Icon Cougar

    I’ve always used the green OXO cubes. I made a leek & potato soup yesterday using the Knorr ones and it tasted OK but it was kinda… green.

    I’ve got a mushroom risotto recipe somewhere which I’m not personally a fan of (I’m not overly keen on mushrooms generally) but has gone down a storm whenever I’ve made it for others. I’ll see if I can find it, it’s on a scrap of paper somewhere in the kitchen.


    I quite enjoy this recipe as I love tomatoes, and it’s v easy to make



    If you must use stock cubes then use the right amount for the liquid you’ll have left at the end of the process, not the amount you start with.

    EG if you need 500ml of stock and one whole stock cube makes up 500ml stock, but will reduce by half during cooking then use half a stock cube in your intital 500ml water.

    But homemade stock is infinity times more betterer. Even if no chicken carcass to make stock, you can buy liquid stock in supermarket or even roasting some vegetables and making stock from that is still better than stock cube.

    From best to worst.

    1. Homemade chicken stock
    2. Store bought chicken stock
    3. Homemade vegetable stock
    4. Chicken stock cube

    Premier Icon chakaping

    Roasted butternut squash is good in risotto, but will put you in a carb coma.

    I like a smoked haddock one with leek and peas and parmesan mixed in, and a poached egg on top.

    Good post ride one that, as it’s not short of calories or salt.

    Premier Icon slowoldman

    I like a smoked haddock one with leek and peas and parmesan mixed in, and a poached egg on top.

    Ooh that sounds good. I’ve done leek risotto and that works better than I thought it would.

    Premier Icon thepurist

    Add more bacon. Generally sound advice for most cooking, except puddings (if you’re allowed)


    I had a vensison in red wine risotto in Yorkshire years ago, was very tasty. Its was something like this altough im sure the chef didnt use stock cubes or pots.

    Venison, Mushroom, Red Wine Risotto; the truth about rabbit heads

    rabbit heads were definitly not involved

    Premier Icon eddiebaby

    Mushrooms and peppers and chopped onion. A light stock and start the process by adding a little sparkling wine, then a bit of stock and keep alternating the two fluids.


    Easiest risotto – and no stock needed.

    Delia says…


    Joe Wicks butternut squash risotto is superb.

    I use low salt stock/bouillon powder. Marigold brand. It’s in a tub. If by any chance hung up on cubes then Kallo low sodium work.

    A mushroom risotto cooked with pearl barley instead of rice. Sometimes use tarragon. It’s good. Some supermarkets do mixed ‘woodland’ mushrooms, ie a selection of diff types. Those. Or porcini.


    Saffron risotto, basically buttery sweated onions, white wine, rice, then add chicken stock with plenty of saffron. Finish with lots of Parmesan and butter.

    Excellent stuff, a strong shout for Marigold powder.

    Am a big fan of leek too, definitely trying that.

    Dried porcini mushroom, rehydrated in the stock, is a winner.

    Also love rocket stirred through risotto, basil on and top, and some roast toms on the side.

    Also love rocket stirred through risotto, basil on and top, and some roast toms on the side.

    All my favourite ingredients right there!

    Happy days!

    Makes it look a bit better too, instead of just a plate of risotto!.


    Squid ink and calamari.

    Premier Icon chakaping

    A trick I worked out for using strong flavours like mushrooms is to fry them separately with garlic & butter and add them to the risotto at the end, so they are like little taste explosions in the comforting, starchy rice.

    +1 for tarragon being good with mushrooms.

    Premier Icon chakaping

    And don’t be afraid to chuck some toasted pine nuts in.

    Premier Icon peajay

    Chicken, leek and butternut squash is a regular with us, also bacon, leek and pea. Another is Smoked haddock, leek and spinach.

    Premier Icon lister

    Oven baked risottos rule. Google is your friend. I much prefer the flavours, texture and ease of them.

    Agree with cooking the additions separately. Just throwing king prawns into risotto boils them and they’ll turn out tough. Fried in butter separately then added at the end tastes better.
    And second the tallegio, reduce the butter and use this


    I’m another fan of adding and reducing a glass of vermouth before the stock goes in. Bacon and pea risotto is my go to easy recipe, but also had success adding roasted squash, crab, sautéed mushrooms, leftover pulled pork or pretty much anything tasty and savoury.

    Definitely make too much for the next day and/or arancini

    Premier Icon chakaping

    I’ve tried making too much, but it never gets left over for some reason.

    Nothing in the house risotto…

    Cook some frozen petit pois in some chicken stock (I actually quite like the Knoor stock pots, think they are okay). Reserve the stock after draining, and purée the peas with butter and lots of basil.

    Cook a plain risotto as normal (I use Noilly Prat), stir through the puréed peas once the rice is cooked. Good as it it, or top with anything from frilled halloumi, toasted walnuts, pancetta, scallops, prawns with a big squeeze of lemon, grilled chicken or pork – the list goes on…

    It’s a bit of a staple for when we’ve forgotten to shop, but we’ve always got peas, rice, Parmesan, shallots and butter in.

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