12 Days of Christmas Recipes, Day Five: Cambozola and Pear Risotto

A wonderful side dish for fish and meat, this creamy rice dish is also perfect for vegetarians. Guests will be impressed with this creamy risotto, laced with the kick of Cambozola cheese, which is a combination of blue cheese and Brie. The trick is to stir it constantly over about 30 minutes, so make sure the rest of your menu is prepared and easy to watch. It’s a perfect accompaniment to roast pork or ham or chicken or fish. For a satisfying vegetarian meal, serve with a spinach salad to complete the meal.

2 tablespoons olive oil                                  25 mL

1 medium onion, chopped                              1

¼ teaspoon each of sage and thyme             1 mL

¼ teaspoon dried cayenne pepper                1 mL

1 large pear, peeled, cored and diced           1

1 cup Arborio rice                                           250 mL

¾ cup dry white wine                                     175 mL

3 cups hot low-sodium vegetable stock      750 mL

6 ounces Cambozola cheese, crumbled      170 g

Salt and pepper to taste

Chopped fresh cilantro or whole basil leaves for garnish


In large wide saucepan, heat oil over medium heat and cook onion, sage, thyme and cayenne pepper until onion is soft, about five minutes. Stir in pear and cook 1 minute.

Stir in rice and stir to coat rice with onion mixture. Add wine and cook, stirring constantly until wine is absorbed.

Add vegetable stock, about ¼ cup at a time, stirring constantly. Make sure the stock is completely absorbed before adding more.

Continue adding stock until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Stir in Cambozola and gently fold in until mixture is creamy.

Season with salt and pepper and garnish with cilantro.

Serve immediately.

Makes four main-dish servings or six side dishes.

-Bonnie Baker Cowan

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