Risotto with Nasturtium Blossoms and Watercress Recipe

Makes: 4 to 6 servings

Flowers lend a lovely, unique touch.

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onions
  • 1 cup Arborio or Carnaroli rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white vermouth
  • 1 cup simmering chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup chopped watercress leaves
  • 1 cup chopped nasturtium blossoms
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  1. In a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed pot, melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter. Add 1/2 cup chopped sweet onions, and cook over medium heat about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender and transparent but not browned.
  2. Stir in 1 cup Arborio rice and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the rice is shiny but not browned. Pour in 1/2 cup dry white vermouth and raise the heat to high. Cook until the vermouth has been absorbed, about 3 minutes, and then reduce heat to medium.
  3. Stir in 1 cup simmering chicken or vegetable broth and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Repeat with another cup of broth twice, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender but still firm enough to hold its shape.
  4. Just before serving, stir in 1 cup each chopped watercress leaves and nasturtium blossoms. Stir in 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, preferably on heated plates, garnishing each portion with a whole nasturtium blossom.

Beverage pairing: Hugel Gew├╝rztraminer, France. The cress and nasturtium in this risotto give it a flowery, peppery kick, so the wine needs to kick back. Nothing does this so well as Gew├╝rztraminer from Alsace. This one is no exception and in addition brings soothing notes of litchi and peaches to the pairing.

This recipe, while from a trusted source, may not have been tested by the CHOW food team.