Warm Risotto with Melon and Speck

TOTAL TIME: 40 min
Prep: 10 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 30 min
YIELD: 4 to 6 servings


  • 2 cups vegetable stock, or more as needed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 Parmigiano-Reggiano crust
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
  • 3/4 cup hand-cut speck, sliced into strips
  • 1/2 Tuscan melon, peeled and diced 1/4 inch (3/4 cup to 1 cup)
  • Sea sat
  • Zucchini flowers, for garnish, optional
    • Cook's Note: I used a zucchini flower from my garden as a garnish for this recipe. If you don't happen to have one, use parsley or shavings of Parmigiano.
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      Heat the vegetable broth and 2 cups water in a pot.

      Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter and the olive oil in another pot over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and saute until softened but not colored, 4 to 5 minutes.

      Add the rice and stir well, evenly coating all the grains, then add the white wine and cook until reduced, about 3 minutes, without lowering the flame.

      Lower the flame and start adding the broth one ladle at the time, stirring almost constantly to prevent the rice from sticking. Add the crust of Parmigiano and some pepper, stir well and keep cooking. The rice should be ready in about 20 minutes depending on the brand. It's best to taste it starting at 15 minutes to make sure you remove from the heat when the perfect texture has been reached and you don't overcook it. (It should taste cooked and not raw, but still have a little bite to it. The whole grains should be intact, but be coated by a creamy starchy "sauce".)

      When ready, remove the rice from the heat and melt in the remaining tablespoon of butter and the grated Parmesan cheese. Set aside to cool off for a few minutes until almost room temperature, and then stir in the speck and melon. Add salt to taste before serving.

      Serve garnished with a zucchini flower, if using, and a drizzle of olive oil.

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