Risotto with Parsley Puree and Caramelized Garlic


Pureed parsley, goat cheese, and Parmesan offer a herbaceous-yet-creamy twist on classic risotto.

Creamy Supergreen Risotto with Caramelized Garlic

Greg Dupree / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

Active Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
2 hrs 30 mins
4 servings

Alice Delcourt is famous for her risotto. Considering she’s a French-American chef working in Milan, home to the world’s most iconic risotto, Risotto alla Milanese, that’s no small feat. Then again, Delcourt has been perfecting her risotto game for years; there’s always a risotto on her menu: she goes through 20 pounds of Carnaroli rice (a medium-starch heirloom variety beloved by Italian chefs) per service. “My favorite producer is Riserva San Massimo, because their product consistently yields a wonderful, unctuous risotto,” she notes.  

Delcourt’s restaurant, Erba Brusca, operates a one acre working farm: vegetables are the core of its DNA, so it’s no surprise much of the chef’s cuisine (think Chez Panisse meets neo trattoria) celebrates them. Including risotto. “It is best to keep it pretty simple with risotto, only add two or three elements: the key is to allow all of the flavors to shine while the risotto binds them into a creamy and satisfying meal,” she says.  For most leafy vegetables, like parsley, the key is to puree them before adding them to the rice, making sure to reserve some of the whole leaves for garnish.  To preserve the parsley’s bright color, blanch and shock the greens before pureeing and adding them to the hot rice. (You can use this technique for other vegetables and legumes, too). Delcourt likes to add a splash of white wine in the beginning or vinegar or lemon juice at the end of cooking to lend some acidity and depth.  — Laura Lazzaroni


Caramelized garlic

  • 2 medium garlic heads (unpeeled)

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons hot water

Parsley puree

  • 2 bunches fresh flat-leaf parsley (leaves and stems), roughly chopped (about 6 cups)

  • 1/2 cup water


  • 4 cups vegetable broth or lower-sodium chicken broth

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste

  • 2 cups carnaroli rice (such as Riserva San Massimo)

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 3 ounces goat cheese (about 1/3 cup)

  • 3/4 ounce Parmesan cheese or Grana Padano cheese, grated (about 3 tablespoons) 

  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, plus more for garnish

  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

  • Nigella seeds, for garnish (optional)


Make the caramelized garlic

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut off and discard top third of garlic heads, exposing cloves. Rub olive oil into garlic, making sure oil seeps between cloves. Wrap in aluminum foil; roast in preheated oven until cloves are lightly golden and meltingly soft, 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove from oven, and set aside until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Squeeze garlic cloves from skins into a small bowl; mash with a fork until smooth. Stir in balsamic vinegar and 1 teaspoon hot water. Add more hot water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until mixture becomes a soft paste. Cover and set aside until ready to serve.

Meanwhile, make the parsley puree

  1. Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high. Add parsley, and cook until parsley is just wilted and bright green, 15 to 30 seconds. Drain and place parsley in ice water until cold to the touch, about 1 minute. Drain well, and transfer parsley to a blender. Add 1/2 cup water to blender, and process until very smooth, about 1 minute. Set aside.

Make the risotto

  1. Bring broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium; reduce heat to low, and keep warm. Heat oil in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high. Add onion and 1 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and translucent, about 6 minutes. Add rice; cook, stirring often, until rice is toasted and grains feel hot to the touch, 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine; cook until mostly evaporated, 30 seconds to 1 minute.

  2. Add 1 to 2 ladlefuls of warm broth (enough to cover rice) to rice in pot. Cook, stirring constantly, until broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth, 1 ladleful (about 1/2 cup) at a time, stirring constantly until broth is absorbed between additions, 12 to 18 minutes. Stir parsley puree into rice in pot; cook until warmed through, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat, and let risotto stand 1 minute.

  3. Add goat cheese, Parmesan, and butter to risotto, vigorously beating using a wooden spoon until emulsified and risotto looks shiny and creamy. Stir in lemon zest, balsamic vinegar, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt; season with additional salt to taste. Serve risotto immediately with caramelized garlic for dotting onto each serving. Garnish with nigella seeds, if using, and additional lemon zest.


To make ahead

Caramelized garlic can be made up to 1 day in advance and stored in an airtight container in refrigerator.

Suggested pairing

Herbal, citrusy Grüner Veltliner: 2021 Salomon Undhof Hochterrassen

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