Brunch “risotto” with apple and golden raisins

Total Time
46 min
11 min
35 min
This risotto uses apple cider (rather than chicken broth), which, along with apple and raisins, gives sweetness to this unique side dish. It’s perfect for fall when apples and cider are at their best. You could even use pear cider or juice instead of the apple cider if you like. And maybe top the finished risotto with a sprinkling of brown sugar and toasted chopped pecans for an even sweeter taste. This would be delicious as a side dish for a pork roast, lamb chops, or meatloaf.


Apple cider

2 cup(s), or juice


½ cup(s)

Vegetable oil

1 Tbsp

Uncooked fennel bulb

¼ cup(s), or celery, finely chopped


2 medium, thinly sliced (white and green portions separate)

Uncooked arborio rice

½ cup(s), carnaroli or Arborio rice


¼ cup(s), McIntosh,finely chopped,unpeeled

Golden seedless raisins

2 Tbsp

Table salt

¼ tsp

Low fat cream cheese

1 Tbsp, (Neufchâtel)


  1. Bring the cider and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce the heat and keep at a simmer.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Add the fennel and the white part of the scallions. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until it is lightly toasted, 2–3 minutes.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add 1/4 cup of the cider mixture and stir until it is absorbed. Continue to add the cider mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring until it is absorbed before adding more, until the rice is just tender; add the apple, raisins, and salt with the last addition of cider. The cooking time should be about 20 minutes from the first addition of cider. Remove the pan from the heat, then stir in the cream cheese until it melts. Sprinkle with the green part of the scallions and serve at once. Yields 1 cup per serving.