May 9, 2022

Wild Rice Risotto

Recipe: Naomi Hansen via Calories Restaurant

Try this Wild Rice Risotto recipe with fiddleheads and morels from Calories restaurant in Saskatoon, featured in the new cookbook: Only in Saskatchewan.

Wild rice risotto is a feature dish at Calories. They use traditional arborio rice for the risotto and add ingredients grown in the province for local flair, including wild rice, morel mushrooms, and fiddleheads. The risotto is creamy, light, and classy, and is meant to be enjoyed alongside a glass of chilled rosé or pinot noir, or a refreshing spritzer. The chef notes that while this dish features spring ingredients from Saskatchewan, the risotto can be used as a base and modified for any season. Try chanterelle mushrooms in summer, butternut squash and candied pecans in fall, or lentils and roasted beets in winter.


  • 2/3 cup uncooked wild rice  
  • 12 cups water, divided
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp salt, divided
  • 2 cups fresh fiddleheads, long ends trimmed or 1 bunch of asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • Ice cubes
  • 5 cups low-sodium vegetable stock or broth
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced small and divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced and divided
  • 1 cup uncooked arborio rice
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary or thyme
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1/4 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh whole morel mushrooms (Morel mushrooms can be substituted with whole chanterelle mushrooms or cremini or button mushrooms, cut into quarters.)
  • 1/3 cup chèvre


Yield: 4 Servings

  1. Place the wild rice, 4 cups of the water, and a pinch of salt in a medium-sized pot. Bring it to a boil over high heat, and then turn down the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until the rice just begins to split open, about 1 hour. Drain the rice and set it aside.
  2. Add the remaining 8 cups of water and the 1 Tbsp of salt to a large pot and bring it to a boil over high heat. Add the fiddleheads and then turn the heat to medium-high and let them boil until tender, 8–10 minutes. Fiddleheads should not be eaten raw, so ensure they are fully cooked. Drain the fiddleheads and put them in a large bowl of ice to shock them and stop the cooking process. Once they are cold, drain them and lay them on a towel-lined plate to remove the excess water. (Alternatively, if you are substituting asparagus for the fiddleheads, blanch the asparagus in water for 2–3 minutes in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, and then strain and shock the asparagus on ice.)
  3. Place the stock in a large pot and bring to a simmer on low heat, to keep it warm while you’re preparing the risotto.
  4. In another large pot over medium-high heat, place the oil and 2 Tbsp of the butter. Add 2/3 of the onions and sauté until they begin to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Add 2/3 of the garlic and cook to combine with the other ingredients for about 1 minute. Add the arborio rice and stir to coat all of the grains with the fat in the pot. Add the 1 tsp salt, the rosemary sprig, and pepper.
  5. Add the wine and turn the heat to medium. Reduce the mixture until almost all the wine is gone. Add about 1 cup of the warm vegetable stock to the pot, and stir constantly until almost all of the stock has been absorbed by the rice.
  6. Continue to add the stock about 1 cup at a time, stirring regularly, until the liquid has evaporated and the rice is almost cooked, about 20 minutes. Set aside 1/4 cup of the stock. Stir in the cooked wild rice, 2 Tbsp of the butter, the chives, tarragon, and lemon zest.
  7. Place the remaining 2 Tbsp of butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat and sauté the morels until they begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining onions and sauté for 5 more minutes. Add the cooked fiddleheads, and sauté until heated through, 1–2 minutes. Stir in the remaining garlic and sauté for 1 more minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if needed.
  8. Remove the sprig of rosemary from the pot. If needed, add the remaining 1/4 cup of stock to adjust the consistency of the risotto. It should be creamy, but not too thick or runny.
  9. Divide the risotto between four individual serving bowls. Divide the fiddleheads and morels evenly between each portion, and scatter the chèvre on top. Serve immediately.
Author: Naomi Hansen

Garret Kendel


Only in Saskatchewan by Naomi Hansen. Recipe copyright © 2022 by Calories Bakery & Restaurant. Text copyright © 2022 by Naomi Hansen. Photo copyright 2022 © by Garrett Kendal.