Risotto alla fragola

Strawberry risotto

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By Tessa Kiros

Published 2003

  • About

The first of the year’s strawberries become available in late April. This is a stunningly unusual and exciting dish which always seems to raise an eyebrow when the menu is mentioned. You can make the risotto using either water, meat or chicken stock as your liquid.


  • 1.5 litres (6 cups) of meat* or chicken stock or water
  • 60 g ( oz) butter
  • 1 medium French shallot (eschalot), peeled and very finely chopped
  • 250 g (9 oz) ripe strawberries, washed, hulled and halved
  • 3 tablespoons good-quality brandy
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) risotto rice
  • 50 g (½ cup) freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus extra for serving


Heat the stock in a large saucepan and keep it on a gentle simmer.

Heat half of the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Sauté the French shallot on a low heat until it has softened and add half of the strawberries. Cook gently for a couple of minutes, then add the brandy. When it has evaporated, add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon to coat all the rice. Season with salt and pepper and add a ladleful of hot stock, stirring almost continuously to prevent the rice from sticking.

When the rice has absorbed the liquid, add another ladleful and continue stirring, making sure you move all the rice at the bottom of the pan with the spoon. After about 20 minutes taste the rice. It should be soft yet firm, and the texture should be creamy and slightly liquid. You may have to continue cooking it for a few more minutes.

Add the remaining strawberry halves, the butter and the 50 g ( oz) of Parmesan cheese and stir in. Serve immediately with a grinding of black pepper and extra Parmesan cheese.

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