Brussels Sprouts Risotto Recipe

Brussels Sprouts Risotto Recipe Recipe

Roasting vegetables is probably the best way to showcase the flavor, particularly the sweetness, of a vegetable. At the market this past week, I found some beautiful Brussels sprouts, which are one of Lulu’s favorite vegetables. I really enjoy them as well, especially when roasted. You can use them as a side, or as I did in this risotto, as the primary flavor in a main course.

Brussels sprouts risotto is synonymous with winter; it's succulent, creamy and the ultimate comfort food. I didn't add any cream though, just a touch of herb fromager d'Affinois at the end. To make the dish, I roasted some Brussels sprouts until soft, caramelized and tender and used them as a base to flavor risotto. I also added chopped Brussels sprouts to vegetable broth so the rice is bursting with the taste of the root vegetable.

Risotto is fairly easy to prepare, and a great showcase for fresh ingredients. My trick for consistently preparing quality risotto is to cook the grains of rice in a little oil so they don't stick to each other too much. Then, warm broth is incrementally added until the risotto is cooked to perfection. My husband Lulu loved it and I'm sure if you give this recipe a try, you will too!


Yields: 8 servings

1-½ pounds Brussels sprouts (about 3 dozen)
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 sprig marjoram
1 sprig lemon thyme (or regular thyme)
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 cups Arborio rice
3 (14-ounce) cans low-sodium vegetable broth, warmed for 2 minutes in the microwave
1 cup water
1 tablespoon salt
½ teaspoon white pepper, freshly cracked
1 (2-ounce) chunk herb fromager d'Affinois (or any creamy cheese), at room temperature
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, freshly grated
3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped


Cooking the Brussels sprouts:

Trim the ends of the Brussels sprouts. Reserve about 1 cup (coarsely chopped). Cut the rest into quarters lengthwise.

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Brush a baking pan with olive oil. Spread the Brussels sprouts evenly on the pan, in a single layer. Add 1 clove garlic and drizzle with more olive oil to coat the greens. Toss well. Add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar (for caramelization). Generously season with salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes. Toss half-way through the cooking process for even roasting. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese and roast for another 6-8 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the leaves are crisp. Remove from the pan.

Let cool to room temperature.

Making risotto:

In a deep saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and cook until fragrant and tender. Add the remaining minced garlic clove and cook until golden. Add the sprig of lemon thyme, marjoram and the Arborio rice. Make sure that each grain is coated with oil. Stir until light translucent. Add 1 can of warm broth. Stir constantly.

After bringing the liquid to a boil, add the rest of the Parmesan cheese and lower the heat to medium-low; cook for about 15 to 20 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of flat-leaf parsley. (I also use the stems, because that's where the flavor is strongest.) Season with salt and pepper. Check the liquid and periodically add ¼ to ½ cup of broth (and water when all the broth is used) when all the previous liquid is absorbed. Let simmer for another 15-20 minutes.

Assembly time:

When the rice is almost cooked, add the roasted Brussels sprouts. Check the seasoning and add salt (if necessary) and pepper. Add the creamy fromager d'Affinois. Stir well. Let sit for about 5 minutes. Remove and discard the thyme and marjoram.

Sprinkle with more parsley. Cover and let sit until you're ready to serve.

Bon appétit!


If you like other types of cuisine, check out the Indian equivalent to risotto called Biryani. It's a saffron-flavored basmati rice. You can also check out the Asian equivalent with Cantonese-style fried rice.

You can also use chicken broth, which is actually the more standard way to prepare risotto. My husband is a vegetarian so I use vegetable broth.

It's important to keep adding warm stock as the rice cooks. The key is to add the liquid incrementally and never let the dish dry out, or the rice at the bottom would burn.

For this dish, I used exactly 6-¼ cups of liquid. The quantity of liquid may vary depending on the heat of the stove and how long you're cooking the rice. At the end, I let it simmer uncovered, sometimes adding another ¼ cup of liquid until I achieve the right consistency and level of doneness. I like the rice al dente, not too mushy.

You can use any other vegetables that are in season, such as asparagus, eggplant, squash or zucchini.


Published By: Jacqueline Pham on February 27, 2012.


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