A creamy and fresh Italian favourite, risotto. This dish has the heartiness of a winter meal yet fresh enough for warmer spring days. This Creamy Broccoli Risotto will have you going back for seconds.
Today I’m bringing you one of my all time favourite dishes to make and eat, Risotto! Simple and delicious goodness. Yes, I have other risotto recipes here on the blog but you can never have too many ideas for this rich and creamy dish.
I was introduced to risotto through Epicurious more than 17 years ago. I remember it well, because it’s when my daughter was a baby and I discovered my love for Epicurious and fine dining at home. I could spend hours bouncing a baby on my lap and reading through all the beautifully well written food articles and learning whatever I could.
And one day I saw risotto and thought that’s something I’d like to try. So with more than 17 years making all kinds of risottos, I have a lot of tips to share so that you can get yours just right.
Let’s get cooking this Creamy Broccoli Risotto.
I’m going to walk to through all the steps of this risotto so you can get yours perfect the first time. Although, I do have about half a dozen risotto recipes on here, none of them involve the cooking process with photos. So, I’m finally going to do that here today.
This recipe uses such basic but fresh ingredients. You’ll get a visual of what we’re using here and in the recipe at the end you’ll get full measurements.
The one thing I do want to point out here is the type of rice we’re using. It’s called Arborio rice and it’s a variety of short-grain rice used primarily in risotto. It has a high starch content, which is what lends to a creamy end dish.
Fun fact about Arborio rice! I didn’t know that it was named after a town in Italy, did you?
Cooking the Risotto
In this recipe, I’m starting with a finely chopped white onion and two crushed cloves of garlic. So, heat a medium sized deep sided pan on the stove over medium heat. Add one tablespoon of the olive oil and garlic. Stir for just a minute until the garlic is fragrant.
Cooking the Onions
Tip the onions in and give a good stir. Cook them until they are soft and slightly golden in colour like you see here. This will only take about 5 minutes.
Cooking the Arborio Rice
Still with the pan on medium heat, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the rice. Stir really well for about one to two minutes. You want to make sure you coat all the rice in the oil. You are looking to slightly fry the rice and make the edges slightly translucent. I tried getting a photo of that here but pretty much failed, oops. Just pretend you can see it…haha!
Adding the White Wine
If you don’t use wine in cooking, start now! But if you really are against cooking with wine, you an substitute extra stock at this stage. But the wine just gives so much extra flavour to the dish. So, use it if you like cooking with it or want to start.
Pour in all the wine and give a really good stir. Stir occasionally and let the wine completely evaporate. This will take 3 – 5 minutes.
Oh, I almost forgot, you need to chop the broccoli into small florets, like little bite size pieces. Ideally we would have done this before we started cooking. Don’t listen to me!
start adding the stock
Now we start to add the stock to our risotto. Pour in 1 cup/240 ml to start with and give it a really good stir. You want to let the liquid completely absorb before you start adding more. Continue to stir until the liquid has absorbed. This will take 2 – 3 minutes.
The reason we constantly stir and add stock as we go is to release the starch from the rice. This will give you a creamy dish at the end.
adding the broccoli
Now we add in the broccoli with another cup/240 ml of stock. Give a really good stir once again and allow all the liquid to absorb until you start with the next cup of stock.
We are going to continue doing this until the rice is tender and creamy and we have about 1/2 cup of stock left.
Note: If at this stage your rice isn’t cooked, just add more stock and continue to stir until it’s fully cooked. It will be a little al dente and that’s how it should be.
Finishing the Creamy Broccoli Risotto
We’re almost done. Add all your remaining ingredients. The cheese (reserve a little for garnish if you like), butter, parsley, salt (if you need it, depending on how salty your stock is) and oregano. Stir really well until it’s creamy like you see here, about a minute. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
Yes, you have to serve it straight away. Risotto isn’t a very forgiving dish and becomes stodgy quite quickly after cooking. So, I recommend cooking it just before eating. Nobody likes a stodgy risotto!
Serve the Creamy Broccoli Risotto
Garnish with a little extra parmesan and parsley to be fancy. And then get it on the table steaming hot!
Every time I make risotto, I make sure everything is set and ready to go so there’s no last minute fussing. This dish is 100% best when served fresh from the stove. Of course, like most things, you can eat it leftover but it’s lacks the beautiful creamy texture. So, try to make it and eat it fresh.
This goes great with Fresh Tomato Bruschetta on the side. You could also have a quick leafy green salad. Or if all else fails, just serve it as seen here and nothing more is needed. Well, except a cold glass of wine. Stating the obvious!
Other Risotto Inspiration
If you’re looking for more risotto inspiration, I’ve linked a few recipes here that you might be interested in taking a look at.
- Butternut Squash Risotto
- Pea & Mint Risotto
- Mushroom & Leek Risotto
- Lemon & Asparagus Risotto
- Portobello Mushroom & Spinach Risotto
- Seafood Risotto
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Thanks for following along and I’ll see you all on Friday for some weekend breakfast inspiration!
Keep on cooking.
get the recipe!
Creamy Broccoli Risotto
- 1 white onion large, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 Cups arborio rice
- 1 broccoli head, cut into small florets
- 3/4 Cup white wine
- 5 Cups vegetable stock more if needed
- 1 1/2 Cups parmesan cheese finely grated and a little extra for garnish
- 2 Garlic cloves crushed
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- Small bunch of fresh chopped parsley
- 1 tsp oregano
- Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sized deep sided pan. Add the garlic and stir for a minute. Add the onion and stir, cook for a further 5 minutes until the onions are light golden and soft.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the rice. Stir well to coat and let it fry for 1 -2 minutes until the edges become a little translucent.
- Add all the wine at once and stir well. Let the wine evaporate completely, about 2 – 3 minutes.
- Add one cup/240 ml of vegetable stock and stir well. Occassionally stir until it evaporates, about 3 minutes.
- Add another cup of stock and the broccoli, stir well and leave to cook stirring regularly until the stock has evaporated., about another 3 minutes or so. Add another cup and repeat. Repeat until you have about 1/2 cup/120 ml of stock left.
- Add the cheese, butter, oregano, fresh parsley and salt (if using). Stir really well and immediately remove from heat.
- Garnish with a little extra parmesand and parsley if desired. Serve immediately.
*A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are estimates only.
2 Comments on “Creamy Broccoli Risotto”
I was never much impressed with risotto, mainly because I wasn’t making it properly, then we went to Italy for the first time, 20 years ago, staying near Sorrento.
The hotel was a modest, old- fashioned place, but it got very high ratings for it’s traditional food.
Every night, amongst the 5 or so choices of starter was a risotto, and totally different every night.
The one that impressed me most was a gorgeous lemon and shrimp risotto, but as they served it, they spooned pomegranate seeds, ice cold from the fridge over the top.
The only thing I would say, is check the fruit before hand, if the pips are too big, it isn’t as pleasant as when they’re mostly jelly……..enjoy.
Thanks for the lovely story Neil. The lemon and shrimp risotto sounds wonderful and the pomegranate seeds sound like a very different touch!