This basic risotto recipe has endless variations. Knowing the basics means you’ll never be without a great dinner. It’s the first meal Fin learned to cook, and he now claims to be a risotto master. You would not find him adding swiss chard though…


5 to 6 cups (1.25 to 1.5 L) low-sodium chicken stock

2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil

3 tbsp (50 mL) butter

1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped

1 cup (250 mL) finely chopped swiss chard

1 ó cups (375 mL) Carnaroli, Vialone Nano or Arborio rice

ó cup (125 mL) white wine

1 cup (250 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper



  1. Heat stock in a saucepan and keep at a gentle simmer.

  2. In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil and 2 tbsp (30 mL) of the butter over medium heat; add onion and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.

  3. Stir in rice. Let rice fry a bit with the onions, stirring often. After a minute it will look slightly translucent. Add wine and keep stirring, letting liquid cook off.

  4. Add 1/2 cup (125 mL) of hot stock. Turn down the heat to a brisk simmer so the rice doesn’t cook too quickly on the outside. Stir until almost all the stock is absorbed but the rice is not dry, then add another 1/2 cup (125 mL) of stock, stirring constantly. Carry on adding stock until rice is soft but still has a slight bite and there’s still a bit of liquid in the pan. This will take 17 to 20 minutes total.

  5. Five minutes before all the liquid is added, stir in the swiss chard. Cook only a few minutes or until the chard is tender but still vibrant in colour. Turn off the heat.

  6. Quickly stir in the remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter and the Parmesan. Season well with salt and pepper. Stir gently.

  7. Serve immediately so the risotto retains its creamy texture.

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