“I love food and at the same time gluten intolerant. Is risotto gluten free? I love dining at restaurants and enjoy trying out new recipes and eating my old favorites. Gluten intolerance has limited my food options, and with every recipe, I keeping wondering whether it is right for me or not. Kindly tell that is risotto gluten free?” – Tanya P. – Montreal, Quebec
Yes, risotto is gluten free and you can include it in your gluten free diet. Risotto is basically creamy rice based Italian dish. None of its form contains gluten as it is made from rice and rice is naturally gluten free.
Risotto is thought to be one of the most preferred dishes for gluten intolerant individuals. It is made from Arborio rice which is free from the protein composite gluten and is a rich source of complex carbohydrate and protein. Due to its high nutritional value and zero gluten content, it has received much deserved popularity in the recent past.
“You can enjoy traditional risotto which is gluten free!”
It is pretty easy to prepare risotto and is not at all time consuming, even though they always seem to mess it up on the show Hells Kitchen. Let us quickly understand its preparation process. Short grain Italian rice or Arborio is used for preparing risotto. These types of rice are high in starch content and that is what makes the dish tempting and mouth watering. The rice is primarily sautéed in olive oil or butter for few minutes and then broth is added to it. Make sure you do not add the entire quantity of broth or stocks at one go. Keep adding small quantities at regular intervals until the entire liquid is absorbed. While the rice is being cooked, the starch contained within is released which gives the risotto its creamy texture. As and when more broth or liquid is added to the rice, it becomes more tender and creamier. You need to know that the actual preparation of risotto does not involve addition of milk or cream. It needs to be well understood that the creamy and tender texture of risotto is due to the starch content of the short grain rice. Yes, you can definitely add cheese for added flavor just before you serve the risotto. Make sure you add unprocessed cheese made at home or labeled gluten free. This is so because many times processed cheese can contain gluten in them.
So far I have given the preparation of traditional risotto. You must have noticed that the ingredients that went into the making of this Italian dish were all naturally free from gluten. However, you need to be careful when dining at restaurants as some modified preparation of risotto call for addition of ingredients that are not gluten free. Therefore, you need to first confirm with the chef of the restaurant, before you treat your tummy with the first spoon of risotto. A word of caution for preparing risotto at home – if you are adding the stock or broth prepared at home then obviously you would not have added any gluten containing ingredients into it. However, if you want to purchase ready-made broth from stores, ensure that it is gluten free. Some commercially prepared broths containing gluten which is added for thickening the product.
So, you can enjoy traditional risotto which is absolutely gluten free!!