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Risotto Without Cheese

Asked by LayneB007. Answered on 28th October 2017

Full question

I really don't like the taste or texture of cheese, so what I can use as a substitute for cheese for thickening risottos?

Lemon Risotto
Photo by Francesca Yorke
Lemon Risotto
By Nigella
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Our answer

In many risottos cheese, usually Parmesan cheese, is added at the end for flavour rather than as a thickening agent and it is the rice that thickens the risotto. Risotto rice varieties are short grain varieties, which have higher levels of starch. During cooking the rice is stirred constantly and this causes the rice to release starch and thicken the risotto. The liquid is also added gradually to make sure that the risotto is thick and not too runny. So it is possible to make a risotto and omit the cheese element, unless there is a very large amount of cheese in the recipe.

You may also like to try Nigella's Lemon Risotto. The quantity of Parmesan cheese used is quite small and can be omitted, though you may find that the risotto needs a tiny pinch of salt as extra seasoning as Parmesan is quite salty. The risotto has an egg yolk added at the end and this yolk gives extra richness and will also help to thicken the risotto a little more.

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