This extra creamy spinach risotto is a wonderfully rich base risotto recipe that you can use with your favorite proteins.
Unlike traditional risottos, which typically use chicken, vegetable, or beef broth to cook the rice, this version uses a flavorful “spinach broth” – a blend of water and fresh spinach. This not only gives the risotto a lovely green hue but also infuses it with a lovely, fresh spinach flavor.
Another departure from tradition – and this is probably sacrilegious to a lot of risotto puritans – is the use of heavy cream. Traditional risotto gets its creamy texture from the slow release of starches from the arborio rice as broth is gradually added. But here, the addition of heavy cream takes the creaminess to another level, adding an incredibly rich and indulgent quality to the dish. And while you might get some eye-rolls from your Italian bestie for your culinary blasphemy – this dish will get oohhs and aahhhs from the rest of the table, guaranteed.
What do Know About Making Risotto:
Step by Step Guide to Making Extra Creamy Spinach Risotto
Preparation of Spinach Water:
- In a blender, combine the 3 cups of water, 2 cups of baby spinach, and 1 tsp of salt. Blend until the spinach is finely pureed and the mixture is a uniform green color. Set aside.
Cooking the Base:
- In a large pot over medium heat, melt the stick of butter.
- Once melted, add the finely chopped onion and minced garlic. Sauté until the onions are translucent, ensuring that the garlic doesn’t burn.
Toasting the Rice:
- Add the 1 cup of arborio rice to the pot and stir, ensuring each grain is well-coated with the butter. Toast the rice for about 2 minutes until it becomes slightly translucent around the edges.
Deglazing with Wine:
- Pour in the 1 cup of white wine. Let it come to a gentle boil and cook until half of the liquid has evaporated.
Adding the Spinach Water:
- Begin adding the spinach water mixture to the pot gradually. Add about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently. After each addition, wait until most of the liquid is absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup. This step should take about 15 minutes and allows the rice to absorb the flavors and develop the creamy texture characteristic of risotto.
Finishing the Risotto:
- Once all the spinach water has been added and the rice is nearly cooked, pour in the 1 cup of heavy cream. Stir well to ensure it’s fully incorporated.
- Continue cooking for a few more minutes until the rice is fully cooked and has a creamy consistency.
- Remove the pot from heat and stir in the 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese until fully melted into the risotto.
- Transfer the risotto to bowls and serve hot. Optionally, you can garnish with additional grated parmesan or a sprinkle of fresh herbs.
Nicole Medgenberg is a German-Mexican food, travel and lifestyle journalist based in Mexico City. She writes for several Latin American publications including National Geographic Traveler and Cosmopolitan Magazine. She has a passion for traveling, eating local food, cooking and writing about it all in her food blog La Cocinera con Prisa.