Three Cheese Risotto

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Ah, risotto. So creamy! So delicious! All that cheese! And you wanna know what? You don’t need to go out to eat to enjoy it. It’s not remotely as hard to make at home as some folks might think.

This risotto gets a smooth, rich balance of cheese-y flavors from Gruyere, Taleggio, and Parmesan. A generous amount of butter beaten in at the end adds just a little extra creaminess.

Seriously? I think I may have died and gone to cheese heaven. (Not a bad ending for a mouse, I know.)

A big thank you to my friends at Cookstr


The good folks over at Cookstr have asked me to do step-by-step walk-throughs of a handful of their recipes. We’re really excited about working with them! This first recipe for Three Cheese Risotto comes from Jamie Oliver.

Cookstr is rapidly building one of the best food sites I’ve seen. All their content comes from chefs and cookbook authors. If you haven’t already, definitely check them out for tons of recipes and info on your favorite chefs.

Three Cheese Risotto: A note on ingredients

Risotto is made with Italian arborio rice, a short-grain rice that’s super starchy. Slow cooking and constant stirring help coax that starch out, creating risotto’s trademark creamy texture.

For the cheeses, I used Gruyere and Taleggio.

Gruyere is a Swiss cow’s milk cheese with a fabulous nutty flavor. It’s generally aged for 10-12 months, and is good for eating out of hand or for cooking.

Gruyere

Made in the Lombardy region of Italy, Taleggio is a rich, semi-soft cow’s milk cheese. When it’s younger, it’s a pale-ish yellow and fairly firm. As it ages, it gets darker in color and runnier.

Taleggio

For chicken broth, I like Pacific brand if I don’t have any homemade on hand in the freezer.

Three Cheese Risotto: The basic technique

Here’s the basic technique. There’s a lot of stirring. But trust me, your efforts will be well worth it.

+Heat the stock in a separate pan
+Sweat the veggies in another pan
+Add the rice to the veggies and cook it a bit
+Pour in the wine and cook until absorbed, stirring constantly
+Add the stock one ladle at a time. Stir constantly until the stock is absorbed before adding more.
+When the rice has absorbed all the stock, stir in the cheese
+Add the Parmesan and butter
+Cover for a few minutes
+Serve and enjoy!

Read on for a step-by-step walkthrough.

Three Cheese Risotto

Recipe by Jamie Oliver

 

~1 quart chicken stock, preferably organic
1 Tbls. olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
3 sticks of celery, trimmed and finely chopped
1 1/2 cups uncooked risotto rice
2 wine glasses of dry white wine
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 oz. Appenzeller or Gruyere cheese, roughly chopped
4 oz. Taleggio cheese, roughly chopped
6 Tbls. butter
2 oz. Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Three Cheese Risotto: Do a little prep

Gather your ingredients together. You want to prep everything ahead of time. Once you start the risotto, you won’t really be able to walk away from it.

Set two medium-sized pots on the stove. Pour the chicken broth into one. Set it over medium-high heat. You want to barely bring it up to a simmer, then drop the heat to low (so it’s still hot when you add it to the rice).

Meanwhile, prep the cheese and veggies. Cut the rind off the Gruyere and Taleggio and discard.

Chop them up roughly. Set the cheese aside in a bowl.

Chopped Gruyere (left) and Taleggio (right)

Peel the onion and chop it finely.

Trim the ends off the celery and cut it up the same way.

Peel the garlic and mince it up. Set the chopped veggies aside for a sec while you heat the oil.

Three Cheese Risotto: Sweat the veggies

Add the olive oil to your other pan. Set the pan over medium heat. Toss in the onion, celery, and garlic.

Stir to combine and coat with oil. Keep your heat on medium. You want them to start to turn translucent, not brown. Cook them like this, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

Three Cheese Risotto: Add the rice

When your onions are getting translucent, pour the rice into the pot.

Give the pot a stir to combine the rice and veggies. Raise the heat to medium-high.

Cook the rice like this, stirring constantly, until it starts to look translucent.

Three Cheese Risotto: Pour in the wine

Next, add the wine to the pot.

Stir to combine. If the pot feels like it’s too hot (i.e. the rice is sticking or sizzling a lot), turn the heat down a bit. You don’t want the rice to cook too quickly on the outside.

Cook, stirring constantly, until all the wine is absorbed.

Three Cheese Risotto: Add the stock one ladle at a time

Next, add the first ladle of stock.

Toss in a little salt.

Grind on a little black pepper.

Cook like this, stirring constantly, until all the stock has been absorbed.

Then add another ladle of stock.

Keep stirring, just like you did with the first ladle.

Repeat this process until you’ve used all the stock. As it cooks, the rice will plump up and turn more and more opaque.

When all your stock is used up, your risotto should be nice and creamy. Give it a taste. The rice should be totally cooked, but still have the slightest amount of bite to it.

You want to be able to draw a spoon across the bottom of the pot like this:

Take the pot off the heat and get ready to finish the risotto up.

Three Cheese Risotto: Finish the risotto

This is the fun part. Add the chopped Gruyere and Taleggio to the pot.

Stir well to combine and start melting the cheese.

Toss in the butter and Parmesan.

Stir well to combine. Cover the pot for a few minutes to let the cheese finish melting. When you uncover it, give it a stir. It should look about like this:

Three Cheese Risotto: Serve and enjoy!

When your risotto is done, heap it up in bowls.

In terms of consistency, it should be thick and creamy, but not so much that it’s rubbery or gluey.

Top with a little minced parsley if you like.

Serve and enjoy!

Three Cheese Risotto: How to reheat your risotto

Here’s the best way I’ve found to reheat risotto (assuming, that is, that you have leftovers).

To help maintain the nice, creamy texture that you worked so hard to create, reheat your risotto in an uncovered double boiler, stirring frequently. If it’s feeling a little dry, beat in a small nob of butter to loosen it up.

Cheers!


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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie serves as an Associate Creative Director at PARTNERS+simons, a boutique ad agency in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.

40 COMMENTS

  1. I love risotto. It’s one of my absolute favourite things to cook and eat. Jamie Oliver’s cookbook “How to Cook” has a lot of very creative risotto recipes. This looks great- gruyere is just about my favourite kind of cheese.

  2. This is a very good breakdown of what people perceive to be a complicated process. It’s the kind of thing that I encourage people to try, and they’re usually pleasantly surprised at the outcome. I had some guests over a couple weeks ago and one of the ladies sort of cautiously asked if she could stand in the kitchen and watch how I do the risotto. She took notes! I tried to explain that it was a “process” and not a science, and once she got the basics, she’d have a lot of fun with it. I added a handful of arugula and some chopped Italian brown mushrooms at the end of the process, but otherwise my technique is very similar to yours.

    Good stuff, kudos!
    Larry

  3. I love making risotto – all kinds and flavors – and it is one dish everyone loves to eat. Never made cheesy risotto but yours looks fabulous. Beautiful photos, too!

  4. Hi Jessie,
    About the three cheese risotto, could you please help me?
    ~1 quart chicken stock, preferably organic. How many ML would that be exactly?
    And could I change the cheeses for cheddar, gouda and parmesan? They are my favourite cheeses..
    thanks,
    waiting for your reply.

  5. Mmmmmm, the weather is getting colder up here in Toronto, this is perfect stick-to-your-ribs comfort food. Definitely making this this weekend!

    And to Julie above, who may be a fellow canuck, 1 quart is 946 mL, it’s just a little more than those boxes of stock sold in our stores, which come in 900mL containers – I exchange that for quart measurements and I never have any problems.

  6. I’ve never liked risotto, but seeing here the process of how one was made I decided to give it a try, because everything looks so yummy! Unfortunately I couldn’t find anywhere the Taleggio cheese… and after lots of research I used mozzarella as substitute. Also, when preparing the rice, I couldn’t wait for them to be translucent before adding the wine… it was starting to burn. Do you know what could be the problem in this case?
    Good thing that after the chicken stock, the rice was indeed fully cooked. I guesse the flavour could be better with Taleggio, but it would be difficult to imagine a risotto more delicious than this one!
    Seriously, this is the 5th recipe from this website I am using to cook with awesome results… you are turning me into a chef!!! Thank you so much!

    • Heya!

      Thanks so much! Glad you’re liking my recipes and the site!

      Re: the rice burning at the beginning, my guess is that you had the heat a little too high. It’s always hard to give temperature instructions, because heat settings on stoves vary depending on your model. Try it with lower heat next time and I’m guessing you’ll be just fine.

      Fontina would also be really good in this, and melts well.

      Happy cooking! 😀

      +Jessie

  7. i personally do not really like these cheese sorts =]
    the recipe is very well done though! congratulations!
    i personally eat risotto about once a week,
    i make it without the wine, and i add regular water with a vegetable bouillon mix instead of the chicken stock
    i also only use regular young cheese (although i do not know if you could find the kind of cheese i mean anywhere outside the netherlands XD)
    i have eaten risotto in restaurants in italy, and the netherlands and i must say i personally like my own better =] its probably because of the cheese though =]
    but maybe this recipe is better than the ones they use in restaurants =]

  8. My parents are both vegetarian, but they also really like risotto. Would this recipe be as delicious with a vegetable broth? I assume it would be, but I wasn’t sure if you had input for this.

    • Oh sure, it would be great with veggie broth. Just use a good quality broth–or homemade. I’d stick with low-sodium broth if you’re using canned, since the cheese has lots of salt. Let me know what brand you wind up using!

      Good luck!
      +Jessie

  9. How many servings does this make and how long does it take to make? Just tring to figure out timing for a meal and if it should be doubled or not.

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