Saffron risotto

Dried chive flowers add a delicious savoury note to this delicate vegetarian saffron risotto.

saffron risotto

There are three basic ways of cooking risotto – the traditional stand-and-stir method, the bung-it-in-the-oven method and the leave-it-to-its-own-devices-on-the-stovetop method. The latter is my preferred method, particularly in the summer – mix it all up then cover it and let cook it on very low heat. An occasional stir will suffice.

Risottos are easily scalable – this recipe serves two, but if you figure 1/2 cup of rice per person, and use 3 times as much stock as rice, you’re good to go!
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: it will take about 30 minutes if you’re making enough for 2 people, then add 5 minutes for each additional serving


2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup risotto rice (arborio, carnaroli…)
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 cups vegetable stock
pinch saffron threads or powder (I used about 12 threads)
1 cup finely grated parmesan (or vegan alternative)
1 Tbsp dried chive flowers


Heat the olive oil in a medium, heavy-based saucepan over low heat.

Cook the onion until softened, then add the garlic and cook a further two to three minutes, just until fragrant. You don’t want it to brown.

Stir in the rice to coat with oil, then add the white wine and stir until evaporated.

Add the stock all at once, and stir in the saffron.

Cover and cook over very low heat, stirring every ten minutes, until the rice is cooked and it has the desired consistency. It should be loose but not liquid.

Stir through the parmesan and ladle the risotto into shallow bowls.

Sprinkle with chive flowers before serving.

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