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Signature Dishes: Apple Risotto from Chef Tom Schmidt

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Seasonal and local is what it’s all about in Sonoma County cuisine. This morning on Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio, Peter sat down with the locals to find out what’s happening this fall in Sonoma County and he learned about what’s coming from the kitchen at John Ash & Co. inside the Vintners Inn. Check back every Saturday for another signature dish from the chefs that Peter meets on the road.

Executive Chef Tom Schmidt shares his recipe for Gravenstsein Apple Risotto

Serves 4 as entrée 6-8 as appetizer


2 cups risotto rice, Carnaroli or Arborio
4 oz finely chopped sweet onion
2 Tablespoons light olive oil
1 cup sparkling apple cider
1/2 cup white wine
5-6 cups vegetable stock
4 oz peeled and diced (¼ inch) Gravenstein apples approx. 1 apple
2 ½ Teaspoons kosher salt
1 Teaspon freshly ground black pepper
4 oz Grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Heat the vegetable broth in a medium saucepan and keep warm over low heat. Heat oil in a medium sized thick bottomed pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook while stirring, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rice, salt, pepper and stir quickly until it is well-coated and opaque, 1 minute. (This step cooks the starchy coating and prevents the grains from sticking). Stir in wine and cook until it is nearly all evaporated. Add the cider and cook until nearly evaporated. Now, with a ladle, add 1 cup of the warm broth and cook, stirring, until the rice has absorbed the liquid. Add the remaining broth, 1 cup at a time. Continue to cook and stir, allowing the rice to absorb each addition of broth before adding more. After 3 cups of brothadd the apples to the rice mixture. Keep adding broth until the risotto is slightly firm and creamy, not mushy. Stir in ½ the Parmesan cheese, cook briefly until melted. Spoon onto 4 bowls and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Top with a drizzle of sage butter and about 10 leaves.
Sage butter
40 Sage leaves (or more, you’ll want it)
¼ lb butter, unsalted
1 Teaspoon Kosher salt

Put butter in a small thick bottomed sauce pan with salt and sage leaves. Turn heat on hi. When the butter is melted start string with a wooden spoon and turn heat to medium. Keep stirring and when the butter starts to brown and the leaves look crisp quickly transfer butter to another small pot to stop the cooking.