White Wine Risotto with Roasted Vegetables

Creamy risotto topped with a good helping of roasted radishes, cipollini onions, fresh beans, and any other seasonal vegetables your heart desires.

I’ve been a bit turned around lately, where my head is moving in one direction, but my body just sits there, unresponsive to the wills of my brain. It feels a bit like there is an imp using my heart as a dais, bouncing up and down on his little platform with just enough force to make it feel as though my heart isn’t pumping freely. The unsettled anxiety that lies under the surface causes me to remain motionless, as if I’m waiting for things to right themselves.

When I took personality psychology in college we looked at perfectionism. There’s this thing that happens with a perfectionist’s fear of failure. This fear of failure makes it impossible for them to take on new tasks or try things where they don’t know they can succeed. In other words, they sit there and do nothing for fear of failing.

This fear of failing hindered my ability to try to make risotto. Surely I would screw it up somehow and everyone was lying when they said it would work (actually, I failed my first attempt nearly 6 years ago now). Eventually, though, I figured it out, cooked slowly, deliberately, and with much stirring into risotto success. The results were bowls of creamy rice that could be just as inviting in summer topped with fresh produce as they could in the winter with butternut squash. The chameleonization of risotto makes it a seasonal favorite no matter the season.

Failure, however, is sometimes necessary. Without failure and the ability to take risks the world would not create, and personally, you would not grow and learn and develop and mold and become. It’s the ability to push yourself even when you may fail or deliver less-than-perfect results that allows doors to open and new paths to be formed. Case in point: Without risotto, you will never get to arancini.

I chose to leave this risotto unencumbered, adding my vegetables and protein to the top. This leaves the leftovers perfectly poised to become that baked arancini later in the week.

1 pound radishes, rinsed and trimmed
1 pound cipollini onions, peeled
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt or kosher salt
2 cups cooked white beans (e.g. Cannellini, Great Northern, Navy)
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons butter
3 shallots, minced
2 cups arborio rice (not rinsed)
3/4 cup dry white wine or vermouth, room temperature
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons minced parsley

Preheat the oven to 375º F. Halve the radishes. Spread the peeled cipollini onions and the radishes on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Place them in the oven and bake for 40 minutes.

While the vegetables are roasting heat your beans in a pot (alternatively, you could add the beans to the roasting pan about halfway through the cooking time) and prepare the risotto. To prepare the risotto, fill a stock pot with the broth and heat until warm. Lower the heat and continue to simmer.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan or sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add in the shallots and cook for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add the arborio rice and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, allowing it to cook so the edges are translucent but not brown.

Slowly stir in the wine. Continue stirring until the wine is absorbed, and then stir in just enough hot broth to cover the rice. Stirring continuously, cook until the broth is absorbed and then adding another ladle or two of broth. Continue until the starch of the rice and the stock start to appear thick and creamy. Continue cooking and stirring in stock until the rice is cooked. It should be creamy on the outside, with a bit of chewiness on the inside. Be careful not to overcook.

Remove from heat and stir in the grated Parmesan. Season with salt as desired. Remove the roasted vegetables from the oven. Top the risotto with cooked beans and vegetables. Garnish with minced parsley.

Makes 4 to 6 servings of risotto.
Copyright © Food for My Family.

*Notice the endive? You can add that, too, if you wish. I roasted it right alongside the radishes and onions.


  1. That is one pretty plate of rice Shaina! I know exactly what you mean about failing. It seems to be the necessary evil to growing in any area of life… Sigh.

    • I believe that, like most things that are difficult to endure, failure has the ability to make you stronger rather than weaker if you’re able to use it to your advantage. If I never would have failed at my first attempt at risotto, for example, I wouldn’t have realized what I had done wrong and wouldn’t have known to avoid that in the future.

  2. Gorgeous plate of risotto!!!

  3. SO I tried risotto once and it was a fail. So I made my family Rice a Roni and told them it was risotto.
    I should really try it again… but I’ll keep a box of rice a roni on-hand, just in case 🙂

  4. I think risotto is one of those dishes that people think is much harder to make than it actually is. I completely sympathize with the perfectionism/fear of failure thing, though. There are times when I’d rather not even try just because I can’t cope with the possibility of not doing something right.

  5. The one time I attempted risotto, I was unsure how much it would make — so I made the entire package. Let’s just say we were eating risotto for DAYS. Love the yummy veggies on top!

  6. Last fall the big city newspaper came to my house for an interview and I made risotto for them. I had never made it before. I forgot the wine and of course they told my mistake in the story. At least they left out the part where I cursed when I realized it.

  7. Beautiful post Shaina – I know exactly how you feel, I’m the same way…and now I need to try to make risotto!

  8. This looks so good, and perfect for fall.

  9. I’ll take a big bowl of this please!

  10. I’ve made risotto at home a few times, and while it was always ‘good’, it was never as creamy as I’d like. I figured out along the way that it’s probably because I didn’t heat the stock before using it. Silly me. I really should try it again. And Shaina, this is like my favorite thing you’ve ever written: “It’s the ability to push yourself even when you may fail or deliver less-than-perfect results that allows doors to open and new paths to be formed. Case in point: Without risotto, you will never get to arancini.” You know how to make a point beautifully, girl.

  11. LOVE the smiley face on the bottom right radish. Happy dish.

  12. I mean left 🙂

  13. I hear you, I’ve spent a good deal of time kicking myself in the butt to try to overcome my own fear of failure over the years!

  14. Stephanie says:

    That looks and sounds fantastic! Pinning!

  15. This is just beautiful; stunning photos and delicious dish.

  16. From the looks of this bowl of creamy dreamy Risotto I would have never known you haven’t been making it perfectly your entire life xoxo

  17. This is stunning Shaina! Risotto is one of my favorite things to make (and eat!) And these veggies are so perfect! I love how creamy it is.

  18. This looks great. Fantastic.

  19. Beautiful dish. Topping the risotto with the protein and vegetables instead of stirring them in is a great idea.

  20. Girl I just love this post! One I am a rice nut, it’s all I eat 90% of the time {seriously}. Two…well, maybe fear is why I go quite sometimes and just didn’t realize it was fear. But that feeling of sitting in myself looking out and waiting…know it all too well 😀 xoxo

  21. That entire plate of dinner looks so delicious. I haven’t yet tackled risotto. I can’t wait to have a go and it because I really don’t mind standing over something and stirring away…it gives my time to wander all over the place!

  22. What a beautiful dish! I love the idea of just piling on whatever seasonal vegetables you have right at the end!

  23. This looks so amazing; I can’t wait to try it. I’ve never made risotto before either so this would be my first go. I hope mine tastes half as good as yours looks.

  24. Oh lovely. Roasted veggies make a wonderful complememnt to risotto.

  25. I know this might sound like cheating, but I love to make oven-baked risotto; all the creamy goodness without the stirring!
    Those roasted radishes are intriguing – I had them at a restaurant once and I couldn’t believe they were actually good! The heat really changed them into something delicious.

  26. I completely feel you on the perfectionist/fear of failure. It gets in my way with both food & life. Love that you gave this another go, it looks absolutely delicious!

  27. quick easy recipes says:

    Sounds so gourmet, and tastes every bit as wonderful. Really great recipe.

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