Shrimp and Green Vegetable Risotto

Risotto often appears daunting but is actually just a 30-minute, one-pot meal. Learn more at
Cool weather always puts me in the mood for risotto. The dish can be as warming as soup but is also hearty and filling. It’s a fabulous way to use up the last vegetables pulled from the garden before frost hits, but risotto can be made year-round: in winter with frozen and dry-stored ingredients, in spring with the first vegetables and herbs of the season, and throughout summer with the freshest treats from the garden.

As I explain this week in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon, risotto often appears daunting but is actually just a 30-minute, one-pot meal. Starting with the right rice and adjusting your cooking technique are key: Instead of covering a pot of short-grain rice and water with a lid, buy medium-grain Arborio rice and cook it in an open pot. Add a little hot liquid at a time, stirring often and letting the rice absorb it before pouring in more. I also create the best risotto when I use homemade stock.

Learn more about making risotto and get the complete recipe for Shrimp and Green Vegetable Risotto in my column.

Risotto often appears daunting but is actually just a 30-minute, one-pot meal. Learn more at

Twice as Tasty

Risotto often appears daunting but is actually just a 30-minute, one-pot meal. Learn more at is so versatile that it can often be hard to follow a specific recipe because you’ll want to adapt your batch to the ingredients already in your kitchen. I find it easiest to just have the basic ratios and technique, so I’m sharing those here, along with a trick for premaking most of the risotto so that you can throw it together even more quickly for a weeknight meal.

Ready to give it a try? Full details are in the recipe below, but here are the basics:
You need just 3 key ingredients plus a few kitchen staples, cheese, and main ingredients of your choice.
1. Cut up all fresh ingredients.
2. Cook the aromatics and rice.
3. Add the fresh ingredients and cheese and serve.

InstagramMake it, share it. Tag your photos: @twiceastastyblog and #twiceastastyblog

Chef’s Choice Risotto

  • Servings: 4–6
  • Difficulty: 2
  • Print
This is a basic recipe, giving you the ratios that I’ve found to work best for a tasty risotto.

4 tablespoons olive oil and/or butter, divided
2 large shallots or 1 small onion, diced
garlic, dried herbs, and/or spices to taste
1-1/2 cups Arborio rice
5 cups stock and/or water, warmed
1–2 pounds main ingredient, such as shellfish and/or chopped or pureed vegetables
1/2 cup white wine (optional)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
fresh herbs to taste (optional)
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a large, heavy-bottom pot, heat 3 tablespoons of oil and/or butter over medium heat; add the shallots or onion, and sauté for about 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic, dried herbs, and/or other spices. Add the rice and stir for 1 minute, until thoroughly coated.

Start adding the warmed liquid a little at a time: Add about 1 cup of liquid and simmer uncovered, stirring every couple of minutes, until the rice absorbs it. Stir in any raw main ingredients that need time to cook. Then, over the next 20 minutes, continue adding 1/2–1 cup of liquid at a time, letting the rice absorb each scoop before adding more. Stir often enough to keep the rice from sticking to the pan.

When the rice is almost done, add any precooked or quickly cooking main ingredients. Stir in the wine, if using, and cook for 2–3 minutes, until absorbed. Stir in the remaining butter and the Parmesan until they melt into the rice, and then fold in any fresh herbs. Taste, adding salt and pepper as needed. Turn off the heat and let rest 1–2 minutes before serving. Serves 4–6.

Tips & Tricks
  • Arborio is the most common risotto rice available, but Carnaroli or Vialone Nano are suitable upgrades. Resist the urge to rinse the rice; it washes away the desirable starch and creaminess.
  • Add ingredients that need time to cook just after the rice. Those that cook quickly, like shrimp, or will leach a dulling color, like mushrooms, can be added toward the end, with or just before the wine, or cooked separately and stirred in with any fresh herbs.
  • For a make-ahead meal, cook the aromatics and rice as directed for the first 12–15 minutes of adding liquid. When the rice is becoming tender but still firm in the center, spread it evenly in two wide, flat pans and stir occasionally until it cools. Refrigerate it in a lidded container for up to a week. To continue the recipe, combine the precooked rice, 1/2 cup of liquid, and any dense vegetables in a large, heavy-bottom sauté pan. Bring it to a bubble over medium heat before adding the wine and remaining ingredients. You can even set aside half at the 15-minute point, making a fresh meal straightaway with the rest ready in the fridge for later in the week.
  • For a simple side, skip all optional and main ingredients. Instead, add a pinch of saffron, lemon juice and zest, or 2–4 tablespoons of fresh herbs—or just let the Parmesan carry the dish. Half of the Parmesan can be replaced by another cheese, like Homemade Fromage Blanc.

For ideas on specific ingredients to use in risotto, check out these recipes on the blog. You can find more ideas in the recipe index.

Want more Twice as Tasty recipes? Get my books! Click here to order a personally signed, packaged, and shipped copy of The Complete Guide to Pickling directly from me. I also share tasty ways to use pickles in The Pickled Picnic; it’s only available here.


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s