Saturday, April 27, 2013

Saffron Risotto

This recipe was inspired by the classic Risotto Milanese. Here I use vegetable broth instead of the traditional chicken broth, substitute good olive oil in place of the traditional butter, and omit the Parmesan cheese to make it vegan-friendly.

While saffron is quite expensive, a little bit goes a long way. And having some on hand is a good excuse to enjoy this delicious risotto frequently.


4 cups (1 quart) vegetable broth
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 cup Arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

In a large saucepan, heat the broth over medium heat almost to a boil. Reduce the heat to low or medium-low, and keep the broth at a slow simmer.

In a separate large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium to medium-low heat. Add the onion, and saute for 4-6 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent. Do not let the onion burn.

Add the rice to the onion mixture, and saute for a minute or two, until all the rice is coated.

Add the wine and the saffron to the rice mixture, and saute over medium heat until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Add the hot vegetable broth to the rice mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly each time until most of the liquid is absorbed before adding more.

Repeat until the rice is tender and creamy, but still slightly firm in the middle (al dente). The process will take at least 20-35 minutes. You may not need to add all of the broth, or you may need to add some water or more broth to achieve the desired consistency. The finished risotto should not be runny, but should also not be stiff.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring, for another minute or two to blend all the flavors.

Sprinkle with the parsley, and serve.

-- 3-4 servings


  1. This sounds delicious - mind if I come over?!

  2. What a lovely, simple, delicious recipe. I love saffron in just about anything but there's something about saffron rice that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.. Thanks for sharing the recipe :)

  3. Oh my goodness, that makes me want to go buy some saffron and risotto now! I love the sunny color of it.
    Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friday!