How to make classic artichoke risotto

Chef Theo Randall show’s you how to make a gorgeous risotto, with fresh artichokes, in his step-by-step guide.

How to make classic artichoke risotto

You will need:

  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves, plus a few stalks
  • 3 small, spiky globe artichokes (the small, violet ones have a huge amount of flavour and when fresh, are soft and easy to prepare)
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 200g carnaroli risotto rice
  • 100ml dry white wine
  • 1 litre fresh chicken stock, hot (see Theo’s Tips for Success)
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 40g parmesan, grated
  • Juice 1 lemon

Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main course. Hands-on time 55 min.

1. Fill a large bowl with water and add some parsley stalks, then prepare the artichokes one at a time.

2. Remove the tough outer leaves to reveal the pale inner heart.

3. Trim the stem a few inches away from the base, then use a vegetable peeler to peel the outer green from the stem until you get to the lighter, tender centre.

4. Cut off the top of the heart to reveal its layers.

5. Using a teaspoon, scoop out the hairy choke.

6. Without delay, immerse the artichokes in the parsley water solution to prevent them turning brown.

7. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large saucepan. One at a time, drain and slice each artichoke lengthways into 8 thin strips, then add to the pan with half the garlic, 150ml water
and some salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until tender. Set aside.

8. Heat the remaining oil in a large heavy-based saucepan and soften the onion and celery over a low heat for 6-8 minutes until softened but not coloured. Add the rice and stir for 5 minutes or until translucent; see Theo’s Tips for Success below.

9. Increase the heat and add the wine. Cook, stirring, until the wine has almost all been absorbed. Now start adding the hot stock, little by little, stirring continuously and waiting until each addition has been absorbed before adding more (this will take 35-40 minutes). Add the remaining garlic when half the stock has been incorporated. You may not need to add all the stock; the finished risotto should be creamy and quite loose, not set and heavy, and the rice should still have bite.

10. Stir the artichokes and their cooking juices into the risotto, along with the chopped parsley leaves, butter and parmesan [I]. Stir vigorously so the starch from the rice and artichoke emulsify with the butter and parmesan. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper, then serve straightaway.


  • Cut artichokes start to discolour quickly. Lemon water is usually used to prevent fruit and veg browning, but it also starts to ‘cook’ them. Instead, use parsley water the cut parsley stalks do the job without affecting the artichokes and are a good way to use up leftover herbs.
  • Heat the stock before adding it to the risotto, so it’s the same temperature as the rice and won’t cool it down.
  • Cook the rice for at least 5 minutes before adding any stock. Cooking it until the edges start to turn translucent helps the grains absorb the stock more efficiently.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION PER SERVING 411kcals, 18.4g fat (7.5g saturated), 10.6g protein, 45.5g carbs (2.9g sugars), 0.9g salt, 1.4g fibre

WINE EDITOR’S CHOICE Beware – globe artichokes clash with many wines and can make them taste sweeter than they are. Go for a crisp, refreshing and unoaked white such as Austria’s grüner veltliner.

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