Almost Hands-Free Risotto with Figs, Parmesan and Herbs

Recipe and photo courtesy of Cook's Country from America’s Test Kitchen. Photo by Daniel J. van Ackere.

This recipe does not employ the traditional risotto method; the rice is mainly stirred for 3 minutes toward the end of cooking instead of constantly throughout. This more hands-off method does require precise timing, so we strongly recommend using a timer. The consistency of risotto is largely a matter of personal taste; if you prefer a looser texture, add extra broth in step 4.

5 cupsLow-sodium chicken broth
1 ¾ cupsWater
4 tablespoonsUnsalted butter
1 largeOnion, chopped fine (about 1-1/2 cups)
Table salt
1 mediumGarlic clove, minced or pressed (about 1 teaspoon)
2 cupsArborio rice
1 cupDry white wine
1 ½ cups (9 ounces)Valley Fig Growers Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid Figs, stemmed and cut into 1/4
2 ouncesGrated Parmesan cheese (about 1 cup)
1 teaspoonLemon juice
2 tablespoonsChopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoonsChopped fresh chives
Ground black pepper


Bring broth and water to boil in large saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low to maintain gentle simmer.

Heat 2 tablespoons butter in large Dutch oven over medium heat. When butter has melted, add onion and ¾ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until onion is softened but not browned, 4 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add rice and cook, stirring frequently, until grains are translucent around edges, about 3 minutes.

Add wine and cook, stirring constantly, until fully absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir 5 cups hot broth mixture into rice; reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until almost all liquid has been absorbed and rice is just al dente, 16 to 19 minutes, stirring twice during cooking.

Add ¾ cup hot broth mixture and stir gently and constantly until risotto becomes creamy, about 3 minutes. Stir in diced figs and Parmesan.

Remove pot from heat, cover, and let stand 5 minutes.

Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter, lemon juice, parsley, and chives; season with salt and pepper to taste. If desired, add up to 3/4 cup remaining broth mixture to loosen texture of risotto.

Serve immediately.

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