Tomatillo Risotto Appetizer Recipe

Tomatillo Risotto Appetizer Recipe Recipe

This is my take on a Mexican-inspired risotto flavored with tomatillo. I prepared salsa verde and added it to creamy risotto. I spooned the risotto onto blue tortilla chips and topped them with salsa verde and crumbled queso fresco as a reminder of the flavor.

I recently received a goodie box of a selection of Queso Del Valle and Karoun cheeses. I’m a huge fan of their products and with Cinco De Mayo just around the corner, I’ll be sharing recipes all week using the cheeses. I’m not a master of authentic Mexican cuisine, but I love Mexican ingredients and flavors and use them often in fusion dishes like this one. 

Mexican Risotto Recipe with Picture


Yields: 8 servings

14 ounces tomatillos, chopped
2 yellow onions, chopped
2 Poblano peppers, roasted, seeded and finely chopped
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
1 sprig oregano
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon red chili powder
5 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups Carnaroli rice
6¾ cups vegetable broth, warm
3 ounces queso fresco, crumbled
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked
6 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
juice of 1 lime
¼ cup crema Mexicana sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 (10-ounce) package blue corn tortilla chips


Making salsa verde: In a blender, combine ½ yellow onion, 1 clove garlic, parsley, sugar, lime juice, the chiles and tomatillos. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well and reserve about 2 tablespoons for garnish. Add ¼ cup vegetable broth for an easy flow and mix until smooth. 

For the risotto:

In a pot, heat the olive oil and cook the rest of the onions and sprig of oregano for 2-3 minutes. Lower the heat and cook for 5 minutes until golden. In the same saucepan, add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the rice. Make sure the grains of rice are well coated. Add 2 cups of warm broth and 2 ounces queso fresco and 2 tablespoons sour cream cheese and stir frequently.

After bringing the liquid to a boil, lower the heat to medium-low and cook for about 10 minutes. Check the liquid and periodically add 1 cup of warm broth as soon as the liquid has been absorbed. Add the rest of the spices and simmer for another 20 minutes.

Assembly time:

At this point the rice is still al dente. Add 2 cups of the salsa verde. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cook for 10-15 minutes.

Check doneness. Add a bit more broth if needed and extend the cooking time by another 5 minutes (if necessary). Adjust seasoning.

When ready to serve, add 3 tablespoons sour cream. Turn off the heat, stir well, then cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

Spread tortilla chips onto a serving platter. Spoon the risotto onto each tortilla chip. Top with the reserved salsa verde. Sprinkle with crumbled queso fresco.

Bon appétit!


Coating the grains of rice in oil prevents them from sticking to one another.

I like risotto al dente, not too mushy, so it still holds its shape when spooned onto the tortilla chips. The key is to add the liquid incrementally and never let the dish dry out, or the rice will burn at the bottom.

Little reminder on how to roast chile peppers: Wash the chile peppers and pat dry. Place on the grill and char until the skin blisters. Wrap in aluminum foil. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Wash under running water and the black skin will come right off.  Seed the peppers and coarsely chop.

Check out more risotto recipes.


Published By: Jacqueline Pham on April 29, 2013.


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