Rice is a staple food in many parts of the world and has been an essential part of human diets for thousands of years. In the context of restaurant menus, rice has played a significant role as a versatile ingredient used in dishes across different cuisines. From sushi rolls in Japanese cuisine to biryani in Indian cuisine, rice is a crucial component.
In addition to its versatility, rice is also a cost-effective ingredient that can help restaurants stretch their budget. It is often used as a filling side dish to complement more expensive proteins, such as meat or fish. Rice is also a great gluten-free option for diners with dietary restrictions.
One of the most iconic rice dishes in the restaurant world is risotto. This creamy Italian dish is made by slowly cooking Arborio or Carnaroli rice in a broth until it becomes rich and velvety. Risotto can be flavored in many ways, with ingredients like Parmesan cheese, mushrooms, and truffles commonly used to add depth and complexity to the dish. Because of the mild flavor, it can even be customized to be a dessert with ingredients like chocolate, bananas, or caramel.
The history of risotto can be traced back to the 16th century when rice first began to be cultivated in the Po Valley region of Italy. The dish was originally a humble peasant dish, made with leftover rice and broth. However, it gradually gained popularity and became a staple in the diet of the wealthy as well. Today, risotto is a ubiquitous dish on restaurant menus, both in Italy and around the world, and is a testament to the enduring appeal of this simple yet delicious rice-based dish.
Ben’s Original Ready Rice for Risotto makes adding a risotto dish to the menu more accessible to a wider variety of operators by reducing prep and cooking time to under five minutes. With its mild base flavor, it also makes it easy to customize with additional ingredients for a signature twist. It is made with 100% Italian arborio rice and contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, and can be made vegetarian or vegan-friendly.
How to Customize Risotto for Your Menu
Option 1: Chicken & Mushroom Risotto
Chicken and mushroom risotto is incredibly comforting and satisfying, with a rich and creamy texture that is both indulgent and filling. The combination of tender pieces of chicken and earthy mushrooms adds depth and complexity to the dish, while the creamy risotto rice provides a perfect canvas for the flavors to shine. It can be served as a standalone main course or as a side dish to accompany a variety of proteins. The dish is also suitable for both lunch and dinner menus and can be adapted to suit different dietary requirements, such as gluten-free or vegetarian diets.
Option 2: Sweet Corn & Crab Risotto
Sweet Corn & Crab Risotto combines the sweetness of fresh corn with the delicate flavor of crab meat, which pairs perfectly with creamy risotto. This dish would be a great fit for a restaurant that offers a range of seafood options, such as a seafood grill or a beachside eatery. Customers who enjoy local cuisine that celebrates the flavors of coastal regions or American cuisine would appreciate this dish. For areas where fresh-caught seafood is a draw, this recipe makes a great addition to a Catch-of-the-Day preparation list. Additionally, there are several different seafood options that could be used to replace it to amplify local seafood availability and regional flavors. Shrimp, lobster, or scallops would all work well in this dish and provide a similar texture and flavor profile. These substitutions can also be an excellent option for customers who have specific dietary preferences or restrictions but still want to enjoy seafood risotto.
More Inspiration & Recipes
Risotto is a versatile and delicious dish that can be adapted to suit a range of different flavors and cuisines. Its creamy texture, rich flavor, and endless customization options make it a popular menu item in many restaurants around the world. Whether you are looking to add a comforting and hearty main course to your menu, a delicious side dish to accompany center-of-plate offerings, or a creative dessert option, risotto is an excellent choice that your customers will love.
If you are looking for inspiration to create your own delicious risotto dishes using Ben’s Original Ready Rice for Risotto, download the exclusive recipes below. These recipes offer a range of different flavors and ingredients, from Bananas Foster Rice Pudding to Osso Bucco Risotto. With a little creativity and experimentation, you can create your own signature risotto dish that will delight diners and keep them coming back for more.