Lunchbreak: Saffron risotto

Chef Matthias Merges

Gideon Sweet

841 W. Randolph, Chicago



Makes 4 servings


  • 28 ounces chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1 cup white wine
  • Large pinch of saffron
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano



  1. Bring stock to a low simmer in a medium pot. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat for 1 minute.
  2. Cook onion until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add rice and a pinch of salt. Sauté until rice is translucent, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Add wine and saffron; bring to a simmer, stirring, until rice has absorbed most of wine.
  4. Add 2 ladles of stock to rice; simmer, stirring, until rice has absorbed most of stock.
  5. Continue adding stock, allowing rice to absorb it before adding the next ladleful.
  6. Cook until rice it is 95% cooked make sure the mixture has a very think soup consistency so the mixture is a bit loose.
  7. Stir in butter.
  8. Stir in grated cheese.
  9. Add any of your favorite garnishes at this time and serve.