Risotto con Fragole (Strawberry Risotto)

Serves 4

Fruit-flavored risotto is made in some parts of Italy in alta cucina (gourmet cooking) restaurants. When I made my mother strawberry risotto, her skepticism turned to raves. Wild strawberries work best, but local, in-season berries are fine, too. I have also made this with blueberries.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped leeks
1½ cup Arborio rice
2/3 cup dry white wine
4 cups hot chicken broth, divided
1 cup chopped strawberries or blueberries, plus several whole berries for garnish
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

1. Over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a heavy saucepan. Add the leeks and cook until they are soft and translucent. Add the rice and stir until it is well coated with the butter.

2. Add the wine a little at a time and stir continually until it is absorbed. Once you have used all the wine, add ½ cup of broth, stirring until it is absorbed. Continue adding the broth ½ cup at a time. Stir continuously for about 20–25 minutes or until the rice is cooked but remains slightly firm.

3. Remove from the heat and stir in the berries. Add the remaining butter and cheese. Garnish with whole berries and serve immediately.

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