• 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely sliced scallions
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups risotto rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 6 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup shredded smoked cheese (Idiazabal, Gouda, or mozzarella)
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or Parmigiano-Reggiano)
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Spain, like the rest of the world, has eagerly embraced Italian dishes, especially risotto.

In the Basque Country, a delicious risotto enriched with the local smoked Idiazabal cheese is one of the favorite restaurant staples.

This dish is great as a first course or as a bed for scallops or other fish.

If smoked Idiazabal cheese is not available, you can substitute it with another smoked cheese, such as Gouda or mozzarella.

Enjoy this Spanish risotto recipe!


Heat the olive oil in a heavy wide 3-quart saucepan, over medium-low heat. Add the scallions and cook, stirring, until soft but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add the rice and stir for about 1 minute.

Increase the heat to medium, add the wine, and stir until the wine is absorbed, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Add 3 cups of the simmering stock or broth, about 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until each addition of liquid is absorbed.

Continue with the remaining stock, 1/2 cup at a time. Cook until the rice is tender but a little al dente, about 20 minutes.

Add the cream, smoked cheese, and Parmesan and stir until the cheese melts, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Immediately spoon the risotto into serving bowls and drizzle some of the balsamic vinegar over each portion.

Serves 4 to 6