Thousands of wines at your fingertips

Search database of wine reviews
Read about wines BEFORE they hit the stores
Match wines with foods



A gift for the literate wine-lover in your life – who may be you. Tony's murder mystery novels, set in the world of wine, are now available at a discount – autographed.

Find out more...

Listen to Tony

Listen to Tony talk about wine on 680 NEWS radio on Fridays at 10:48 am, on Saturdays at 2:48 am and 9:48 am, and on Sundays at 12:48 am and 1:48 pm.
Tony Aspler
Wine Reviews
Food & Wine Match
Personal Wine Cellar
Pocket Wine Cellar
Gourmet Recipes
Wine Primer
More Tony Aspler
Tony's Books Tony's Books
Ontario Wine Awards
About Us About Us

E-mail Address or
Forget Password?


All about sparkling wine Port wine 101 Pairing food and wine Pairing wine and cheese What wine to serve with chocolate Why we like to visit wine country A wine tour of Italy Germany and German wines Wine touring France: Cognac and Bordeaux Wine touring France: Burgundy A tour of California wine country











More Gourmet Recipes  

Risotto Bravo! (March 26, 2002)


Risotto, one of Italy's most delicious offerings and one of today's most popular restaurant dishes, is really easy to make at home. Really! Like everyone else, we too were delighted and awed when we first tried risotto years ago, then decided to try our hand in our own kitchen. A bit intimidated, we nonetheless got Arborio rice, some good recipes, and forged ahead. We've never looked back. Risotto is so simple to make and genuinely foolproof, and the results are guaranteed to be spectacular whatever ingredients you choose.

You can make a very successful risotto in the microwave or pressure cooker, but we love standing at the stove slowly adding liquid and watching the Arborio transform it self from raw rice to a dish that is delectably creamy, yet with grains still separate and firm.

You'll love these recipes from Risotto, by Jenny Stacey and Kathryn Hawkins, and from the USA Rice Federation, and we bet that you'll be so inspired that you'll soon be making your own combinations. Mangia!

On today's menu:

Download these recipes in printable form as an Acrobat PDF (92 KB)

Ginger Scallop Risotto with Yellow Bean Paste

  Ooooh. Could any taste combination be more wonderful? Sweet, tender scallops lightly brushed with ginger and soy, all combined in a heavenly, one-dish meal. Perfect as a starter course, or main with a crunchy salad to follow. One of the 120 delightful recipes from Risotto.

5 cups fish stock (1.25 L)
2 Tbs. vegetable oil (25 mL)
2 bunch scallions, peeled and chopped
1 green chile, seeded and finely chopped
2 cups Arborio rice (500 mL)
1 lb. fresh, small scallops, cleaned and trimmed (450 g)
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin strips (2.5 cm)
1 Tbs. light soy sauce (15 mL)
8 oz. snow peas, trimmed and thinly sliced (225 g)
2 Tbs. yellow bean paste (25 mL)
1 tsp. sugar (5 mL)

  1. Pour the stock into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbs. (15 mL) oil in a large pan and gently fry the scallions and chile for 1 to 2 minutes until jut softened. Add the rice and cook, stirring for 2 minutes until the rice is coated in the vegetable mixture.
  3. Accompanying wine?
    Tony Recommends...

    a light to medium-bodied dry, aromatic wine – Riesling Kabinett or Spätlese Trocken, Ontario Dry Riesling or Alsace Muscat.
  4. Add a ladleful of stock and cook gently, stirring, until absorbed. Continue ladling the stock into the rice until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is thick, creamy and tender. Keep the heat moderate. This will take about 25 minutes. Keep warm.
  5. Heat the remaining oil in a wok or large skillet and stir fry the scallops and ginger for 1 minute. Add the remaining ingredients and stir-fry for a further 2 to 3 minutes until the scallops are done.
  6. Carefully stir the scallop mixture into the rice and serve immediately.

Risotto Rosso

  Is this the most beautiful rice dish in the world? We think so, and the taste matches the colour and panache! Risotto gives us Arborio rice cooked with fresh grated beets and tiny slivers of carrots produce this hue; top it with sour cream, serve it with warm crusty bread and lightly steamed green vegetables, and the Museum of Modern Art will be calling shortly!

5 cups vegetable stock (1.25 L)
2 Tbs. butter (25 mL)
1 Tbs. olive oil (15 mL)
2 medium red onions, thinly sliced
4 medium fresh raw beets, peeled and shredded or coarsely grated
2 cups coarsely grated carrot (500 mL)
2 cups Arborio rice (500 mL)
2/3 cup red wine (150 mL)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 Tbs. sour cream (50 mL)
Snipped fresh chives to garnish

  1. Pour the stock into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter with the oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the onion, beet, and carrot for 10 minutes, until just beginning to soften. Add the rice and cook, stirring for 2 minutes until well-coated in the vegetable mixture.
  3. Accompanying wine?
    Tony Recommends...

    a medium-bodied dry red wine – Chianti Classico Riserva, named Beaujolais village wine (Fleurie, St. Amour, etc.) or Ontario Pinot Noir.
  4. Add the red wine and cook gently, stirring until absorbed. Ladle in the stock gradually over moderate heat until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is thick, creamy and tender. This will take about 25 minutes.
  5. Add seasoning to taste. Serve immediately topped with sour cream and sprinkled with chives.

Tomato and Lemon Risotto

  This version of risotto from the USA Rice Federation is a true comfort food with tasty, familiar ingredients combined for the perfect side dish with chicken or fish. We enjoyed it solo with a green salad and hot garlic bread! Mama Mia!

Serves 6

4 cups chicken broth (1 L)
1 tbs. olive oil (15 mL)
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots (75 mL)
1 cup Arborio rice (250 mL)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (250 mL)
½ cup lemon juice (125 mL)
1 tbs. lemon zest (15 mL)
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Accompanying wine?
Tony Recommends...

a light-medium bodied dry white – Soave, Chablis, un-oaked Chardonnay (cool climate).

In medium saucepan over medium heat, heat broth until it starts to boil; reduce heat to low and keep warm. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium heat, heat oil. Add shallots; cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until soft. Add rice and stir 2 to 3 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high; stir in 1 cup (250 mL) of the broth. Cook, stirring frequently, until broth is absorbed. Continue stirring and adding remaining broth, 1 cup (250 mL) at a time, allowing it to be absorbed before adding more. Cook until rice is tender and mixture has creamy consistency, approximately 25 to 40 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, lemon juice and lemon zest. Top with Parmesan cheese; serve immediately

Tiramisù Risotto

The best of both: creamy rice and everyone's favourite Italian dessert. Suddenly the old salt "Life is too uncertain, eat dessert first!" sounds like the right approach to menu planning with this rich dish! Go on... you know you deserve a reward this week. Stacey and Hawkins in Risotto have outdone themselves with this much-loved Italian favourite.  

3¾ cups milk (950 mL)
1¼ cups heavy cream (300 mL)
¼ cup butter (50 mL)
2 cups Arborio rice (500 mL)
4 Tbs. strong black coffee (50 mL)
1 tbs. cocoa powder (15 mL)
2 tbs. sugar (25 mL)
3 tbs. cognac (45 mL)
2 oz. coarsely grated semisweet chocolate (50 g)

  1. Pour the milk and cream into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
  2. Accompanying wine?
    Tony Recommends...

    lightly chilled 10-year-old Tawny Port, Banyuls, Grand Marnier.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet and stir in the rice. Cook gently, stirring for 2 minutes until the rice is well-coated in butter. Mix the coffee, cocoa, sugar and cognac together and stir into the rice with a ladleful of milk and cream mixture.
  4. Cook gently, stirring until absorbed. Continue adding the cream and milk in small quantities for a further 25 minutes. Stir in the chocolate and serve in a warm dish.

We wish to thank Firefly Books, Canada for allowing us to publish recipes and photographs from Risotto, Over 120 Healthy and Delicious "Little Rice" Recipes.
Photographs by: Paola Zucchi

And the USA Rice Federation ( for their recipe and photograph.


Happily tested by Helen Hatton and Ron Morris.

Download these recipes in printable form as an Acrobat PDF (92 KB)




More Gourmet Recipes