Risotto with figs
- 30 min
There’s a sweet scent in the air and the first golden autumn leaves are already dancing as the fall season arrives. Tubs full of must are ready to turn into amazing wine and tables are laden with golden-, green-, pink-, and red-colored grapes. Looking forward to the month of October, when you’ll be able to make a wonderful Concord grape risotto, we invite you to discover one of the most common varieties that’s perfect for a first-course dish like this. It’s the crisp, aromatic Italia grape, with a flavor that’s sweet, but not overly so. It forms the perfect pairing for the prosciutto that becomes flavorful and crispy, not to mention the light touch of acidity provided by the Robiola, a fresh cheese that gives this delectable dish the right amount of creaminess. What might seem like a simple grape risotto instead hides a juxtaposition of intensity and nuances so deep that it will really captivate your palate! Don’t believe us? Try it for yourself and let us know.
To make the grape risotto, start by preparing the vegetable broth (make around 4¼ cups (1 L)); then move on to the prosciutto: Heat a nonstick pan and then add the slices 1. Let them sizzle over high heat for a few minutes, just enough time to make them brown and crispy 2. Turn them over and continue to cook for a few more minutes, but be sure not to burn them. When the prosciutto is ready, place the slices on a wire rack to cool 3.
Next, rinse the grapes 4, then remove the berries from the stalks and place them in a food mill 5; remember to set some aside for the garnish. Grind the grapes in the food mill to get the juice out and set aside 6.
Now, melt the butter in a large pot over very low heat 7 and then add the chopped shallot, letting it soften for around 10 minutes 8 and stirring often. If it dries out too quickly, add a few spoonfuls of broth. Once the shallot has softened, turn up the heat a little and pour in the rice 9.
Let it toast for a few minutes: As soon as the grains are transparent, deglaze with the grape juice 10. When the juice has evaporated, add the hot vegetable broth, already salted, one ladleful at a time until the rice has finished cooking. Remember not to stir the rice too much 11. Once the rice has finished cooking, turn off the heat and make the risotto creamy, first adding the grapes with the seeds removed and some cut into halves and others quarters 12,
then adding the Robiola 13 and a pinch of pink pepper, and stir well 14. Dish up the risotto and garnish every plate with a little crumbled prosciutto and some chopped parsley. Your grape risotto is ready. Buon appetito 15!
We recommend eating the grape risotto right away. If you wish, you can also keep it for up to 2 days.
To make the risotto lighter, you can replace the butter with oil and use ricotta to make it creamy. If you don’t have a nonstick pan, you can place a sheet of parchment paper on the bottom of whatever pan you do have. If you’d like to experiment, on the other hand, try replacing the Robiola with Greek yogurt, this way its natural acidity will bring out the sweetness of the grape, or use mascarpone cheese, which has more fat and will make the risotto creamier – it will be a safe bet for fans of the time-honored butter and Parmesan combination!