Blue Cheese Risotto with Spinach
And sprinkled pine-nuts
Within thirty minutes, you will have this slightly sweet spinach risotto on your dinner table. It has healthy, chewy spinach and spicy, sharp swirls of creamy gorgonzola. The risotto is topped with roasted pine-nuts. And, while you’re here, did you know… *drumroll sound effect* Gorgonzola is also a village?
Blue Cheese Risotto with Spinach
Are you going to tell me you already knew this? If so, good for you. But I must admit I was a bit flabbergasted. Thinking about it, it does sound logical. A lot of products are named after the region or place they originated.
I knew about parma ham coming from Parma, and of course, parmesan cheese. Or gouda cheese coming from Gouda. I’m familiar with that. Or that all these different kinds of champagnes come from the French region Champagne.
The eponym, that’s what you call something that’s named after a place, name or thing, works too well on me with gorgonzola. Now, I think it’s funny there’s a small village somewhere called Gorgonzola. I can’t wait to meet someone who’s going to introduce himself that way. “Hi, I’m Fransisco, from Gorgonzola”
Ok, just one more. Rasta, named after the Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie. He was born with the name Ras Tafari Makonnen.
But back to my beloved gorgonzola. So delicious on a slice of short roasted bread. Or as a topping on a pizza. I was in a bar once where you could order it as a dipping sauce with hot wings. I should figure out how to make that.
But o well, this site is about risotto. Here you have a recipe for a risotto with gorgonzola and some healthy spinach, sprinkled with pine nuts.
Olive oil – We’re using it for the soffritto; sautéing a base of aromatic ingredients. For this spinach risotto it’s a yellow onion. But we’ll also use it for the tostatura; toasting the rice and covering it with oil. So, no need to use expensive, refined oil. A simple one will do. You can also use butter instead of olive oil
Pine nuts – Adding these little buttery friends to our spinach risotto will give your dish some mild, crunchy bites here and there.
Spinach – What would a spinach risotto be without spinach? This main ingredient will give the risotto it’s subtle, vegetal flavor. And it’s highly nutritious, filled with iron (hello Popeye) and vitamins A, C, and K. If you’d like to know how to avoid bitter cooked spinach, I found this blog very helpful
Gorgonzola – With this Italian cheese, it is either you love it, or you hate it. There is no in-between. The sharp, creamy flavor couples well with the earthy, mild spinach. But if you are not a fan of this cheese, I recommend using a creamy taleggio cheese.
Yellow onion – For the soffritto. With the mild spinach, we prefer the more pungent taste of onion better than a delicate shallot.
Rice – I always go for Carnaroli. It’s the creamiest risotto rice and the easiest to cook. But you can also use Arborio.
Stock – A vegetable or chicken stock will do.
Frying pan – A small frying pan to roast the pine nuts till they have a nice brown sear
Saute pan – A wide heavy-bottomed saute pan. Wide, so the broth or stock can evaporate more quickly. And the rice will cook more evenly.
Stock pan – Filled with stock to add to the risotto
Pot – This pot will help to blanch the spinach.
Cutting board kitchen knife
Spinach Risotto with Gorgonzola
- 2 Teaspoons Olive oil
- 4 Teaspoons Pine nuts
- 13 Cups or 400 Gram Spinach
- 1 Yellow onion Chopped
- 1½ 320 Gram Carnaroli, Arborio or Vialone nano rice
- 5½ Cups or 1 ½ liter Vegetable or Chicken Stock
- 3½ Ounces or 100 Gram Gorgonzola (Piccante)
- Put a frying pan over medium/high heat and add pine nuts. Cook them till they are golden brown (2-5 minutes). Then set them aside.
- In a cooking pan, boil water and blanch the spinach till it shrinks (1 minute). Then press out all the liquid and roughly chop it. Set aside. Meanwhile, bring the stock to simmer.
- Put a saute pan over low heat, add olive oil. Stir in the yellow onion with a pinch of salt. Let it get soft and fragrant (5minutes)
- Now, turn heat op to medium and stir in the rice. Toast it a bit (1 minute).
- Then, add a big ladle of stock and stir frequently till it's almost absorbed. Then add a new laddle and repeat this process till the risotto is almost done (15-19 minutes). When almost done, add spinach.
- When the risotto has the consistency you want, turn the heat off, add the gorgonzola, half of the pine nuts, and give it one last stir. Cover the pan and let it rest for a minute.
- Spoon on to plates and sprinkle the risotto with the remaining pine nuts.