5 Risottos Fit for Entertaining

Staff Writer
Let this classic, one-pot Italian rice dish be the inspiration for your next dinner party.
Red Beet Risotto
Fig Restaurant

Red Beet Risotto

Having friends over for dinner?  Have them join you in the kitchen (and take turns stirring) as you make a big pot of risotto.

Don’t be intimidated by this one-pot dinner. If it’s your first or second time making risotto, start with something simple like the Saffron Risotto. If you’re an expert risotto cook, try the recipes with red beets or sunchokes. Just remember to give yourself plenty of time, adding the stock in small increments and allowing the rice to absorb the warm liquids (while you stir, stir, stir) before adding more. The rich, creamy, and aromatic end result is worth all of the effort.

Once you’ve mastered the technique, you will also find that it is a very versatile dish that you can adapt to the seasons, and is both elegant and impressive enough to be brought directly to the table. Did you know it’s also gluten-free?

We've assembled five of our favorite risotto recipes along with a couple of salads full of winter flavors and some delicious desserts to inspire you when planning your next dinner party. 

 

Starter Salads:

Grilled Radicchio Salad with Gorgonzola and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Grilling radicchio helps to remove much of its bitterness, and a drizzle of sweet, syrupy Balsamic vinaigrette is its perfect compliment. (Photo courtesy of Sheri Giblin)

Chef John DeLucie’s Royal Chopped Salad

Finely chopped lettuce, creamy avocado, hearts of palm, and sharp Manchego are combined in this irresistible and delicious salad.

 

Entrées:

Risotto with Fennel and Pancetta

A touch of mascarpone gives this risotto dish an added layer of rich creaminess. (Photo courtesy of Maryse Chevriere)

Saffron Risotto

Saffron, the dried stigma of the crocus, has long been a symbol of wealth and elegance. It’s what gives this dish its bright yellow color.

Easy Cauliflower Risotto with Crisp Potato Bits

A quick-cooking risotto dish for an elegant dinner that comes together in less than 45 minutes.

Red Beet Risotto

Puréed red beets give this dish a deep red hue, and a slightly sweet flavor.

Étoile’s Creamy Sunchoke Risotto

Sunchokes, also known as Jerusalem artichokes, offer a subtle, earthy flavor to this creamy risotto. Serve with a class of bubbly (it’s used to cook the rice, too).

 

Light and Elegant Desserts:

Frankies’ Red Wine Prunes

Serve this simple, fruit-based dessert after a rich meal to satisfy your craving for something sweet. 

Panna Cotta

While this panna cotta is vanilla-flavored, you could also serve it plain or flavored with another extract or liqueur of your choice.

Cocoa Shortcakes with Semisweet Chocolate Whipped Cream

Delicate chocolate-flavored shortcakes get an extra dose of chocolate with a chocolate whipped cream filling. Serve with a garnish of fresh raspberries.