So the question I asked myself this morning as I traveled back from Ohio in an attempt to beat the winter storm is whether you can really cook risotto in a slow cooker and walk away for an hour? The short answer, in my opinion, is not really.  I tried it tonight with this Parmesan Risotto with Artichoke, and, well…it was good, but not amazing.  It is not the same thing as that labor intense risotto that you stand over and stir with care for quite some time and serve immediately.

Some slow cooker cookbooks given to me as Christmas gifts proclaim that risotto is just as good by the slow cooking method.  And granted, the kids even ate the “cheese rice” and my husband gobbled it up.  I even went back for seconds.  But I found the consistency of the rice to be mixed — some hard, some just right, others a bit “gloppy.”  But it was good enough that I will try the technique again on a weeknight.

I certainly need to confirm that my nasty Christmas cold and a long car ride home with a toddler periodically screaming “poop” in an effort to get us to pull over so he could escape his car seat is not the reason for the mediocre result.  But, as of now, the verdict is that it is just not good enough to serve to guests.

But it was amazingly easy and more than edible.  Just saute the shallots for a few minutes.  Add the garlic, stir.  Add the rice, stir.  Add the wine, stir.  Add the broth and artichokes – walk away for an hour.  Return to add the spinach and parmesan.  Stir.  And it is done.

It was also a very good recipe to christen the new slow cooker.

Keep in mind that I am a girl that is not impressed with diamonds or pearls or expensive bags or shoes (ok, maybe shoes).  It really takes a high end slow cooker that braises and slow cooks and steams to melt my heart.  My husband had my number this year.   And he bought me four cookbooks 🙂  I didn’t have a full day to try some great pasta sauce or slow cooking meat so the risotto was my virgin ride with my slow cooker.  Not a bad start on this St. Stephen’s Day.

P.S. This recipe is gluten free!

Parmesan Risotto with Artichokes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 can of artichokes in water, drained and coarsely chopped.
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups spinach
  • ½ grated parmesan
  • Sea salt and ground pepper to taste
  1. n a pan (or slow cooker if it has this capability) saute the garlic and shallot in the butter and oil until browned.
  2. Mix in the rice and stir until the rice is fully mixed with the shallots and garlic.
  3. Add the wine and stir until the rice absorbs the liquid. (Move the rice mixture to the slow cooker if necessary.)
  4. Add the chicken broth and artichokes and cover for 1 hour until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
  5. Stir in the spinach and parmesan cook for a few minutes longer.
  6. Salt and pepper to taste

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