parsnip + rosemary risotto

by Amy on 17 January 2011

risotto is, hands down, one of my all-time favorite comfort foods. to me, it falls somewhere between rice + pasta with its creamy, rich texture. i’ve made lots of risottos over the past few years – wild mushroom risotto, champagne risotto, sweet potato + bacon risotto, + spring vegetable risotto, just to name a few – yet this risotto, the first one that i ever made, remains my absolute favorite. and yes, risotto takes a little time to prepare, with a lot of constant stirring, but it’s entirely worth it. plus, you’ll get a good arm workout in – never a bad thing, right? =)

to make this risotto as amazing as possible, use delicious, fresh parsnips, ideally local ones. depending on where you live, they’re typically readily available in late fall/early winter at your local farmer’s market or grocery store. next, good parmesan cheese is a must! if possible, don’t just opt for a generic brand cheese – a wonderful, high-quality parmesan will take this dish from great to spectacular. finally, i recommend drizzling some aged balsamic on this risotto – it adds a wonderful bite + depth, which perfectly complements the sweet, nutty parsnips + savory, salty cheese.

while this meal is wonderful vegetarian, as a meat-free entree, i’ve found that it pairs especially beautifully with simple seared sea scallops seasoned with salt + pepper. whether you serve it as a main dish or a side dish, vegetarian or alongside seafood or meat, i know you’ll love it. enjoy!

parsnip + rosemary risotto

makes 6-8 servings, adapted from bon appetit


8 cups vegetable broth
5 tablespoons butter, divided
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 pounds parsnips (about 7 medium), peeled, trimmed, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
5 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, divided
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
aged balsamic vinegar (for drizzling)


bring broth to boil in medium saucepan over high heat. reduce heat to low; cover and keep warm.

melt 4 tablespoons butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. add onion + cook until translucent, stirring often, about 10 minutes. stir in parsnips + 3 teaspoons chopped rosemary. cook until parsnips begin to brown, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. add rice + stir 2 minutes. add enough warm broth to cover; simmer until almost all broth is absorbed, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes.

add more broth, 1 cup at a time, + cook until rice + parsnips are tender, allowing each broth addition to be absorbed before adding next + stirring frequently, about 20 minutes total. remove from heat; stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter, remaining 2 teaspoons rosemary, + cheese. aeason risotto to taste with salt + pepper.

divide risotto among 6-8 shallow bowls. drizzle with balsamic vinegar + serve.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 sarah January 17, 2011 at 2:16 pm

This looks great! Your new camera must be great, too, because your pics turned out beautiful. I love parsnips in the winter but have only tried roasting them. I can’t wait to try this recipe!

2 amy January 17, 2011 at 2:26 pm

aww, thank you! i’m really loving playing around with the new camera. + you’ll have to try this risotto – if you like roasted parsnips, you’ll love the flavors in this!

3 heather January 17, 2011 at 4:38 pm

The post! Risotto is kind of our thing — it’s how we started talking actually. Did I ever mention we’re *making it* at our wedding? Should be interesting. I’m so happy parsnip is getting some attention here. I think it’s one of those forgotten vegetables, and not rightfully so! Great flavor profile here. The drizzle of aged balsamic is that perfect final touch, I’m sure. We give this a go soon.



4 amy January 17, 2011 at 6:00 pm

oh my goodness, i LOVE that you are making risotto (what kind?) at your wedding! you two are too cute. i think risotto is a perfect dinner to make with a date/spouse because you can take turns stirring, glasses of wine in hand. this is my favorite risotto with a wild mushroom risotto coming in a close second. it’s my go-to romantic meal!

5 Wendy (The Weekend Gourmet) January 17, 2011 at 6:01 pm

I’ve never tried parsnips before, but this is the second recipe I saw this weekend featuring them. I think I need to buy a couple and give them a try!! What better way than risotto? Also one of my fave comfort foods too!!!

6 amy January 17, 2011 at 6:18 pm

wendy, parsnips are great! they sort of like nuttier, sweeter versions of carrots. they are wonderful in this recipe, or another good way to prepare them is oven-roasted with other root veggies (potatoes + carrots, i usually do), all tossed with olive oil, salt + pepper. let me know what you think of them when you try ’em!

7 Sheri O'Neill January 17, 2011 at 11:03 pm

I’m so excited to make this :) I love parsnips and risotto, can’t wait to try them together.

8 amy January 18, 2011 at 6:51 am

can’t wait to hear what you think of it!! enjoy.

9 Nashville Nosher January 18, 2011 at 7:14 pm

I’ve never made risotto before but it is on my culinary bucket list for sure :)

10 amy January 18, 2011 at 9:15 pm

you are going to be shocked at how easy it is! enjoy. =)

11 foodies at home January 19, 2011 at 1:07 am

I have all these ingredients in my fridge as we speak! I am soooo making this tomorrow! Thanks for the dinner idea! Love your blog!

12 amy January 19, 2011 at 10:24 am

i’m so glad you stumbled across my blog! i think you’re going to love this – the flavor combinations just work perfectly together. let me know what you think of it! bon appetit. =)

13 Lesley January 19, 2011 at 7:31 pm

I meant to comment on this the other day–it sounds fantastic and a good way to get introduced to parsnips (which I’ve never had).

14 amy January 19, 2011 at 7:55 pm

thanks, lesley! i love the flavor of parsnips + they are super versatile – you should absolutely try them out. they are a slightly nuttier, sweeter version of carrots. let me know what you think of it when you try it!

15 Ashley January 19, 2011 at 7:56 pm

I love risotto and mushrooms! Can’t wait to try this recipe :)

16 ashley January 19, 2011 at 8:10 pm

why did I say mushrooms! meant to say parsnips :) I think it has to do with the baby portobello mushrooms i just bought, staring me in the face…


17 amy January 19, 2011 at 9:13 pm

ha, you are too cute! actually, my second favorite risotto is with wild mushrooms, + my favorite mushrooms are baby portobellos, so i completely understand you! i’m aiming to put that recipe on the blog soon, too. can’t wait for you to try it!

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