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Bodellicious Bites: Crab Risotto

Welcome to the first installment of Bodellicious Bites, a new blog series from Tim Bodell, Culinary Director of RUSTIC, the award-winning restaurant at Francis Ford Coppola Winery. In each post, Chef Tim will share his passion for culinary adventures with personal recipes, cooking tips, sustainable farming techniques and more.

As a chef and a fisherman, there are few times of the year that get me as excited as Dungeness crab season. Crab is one of my favorite sea creatures to fish for and to eat. As a fisherman, there is nothing quite like the anticipation of pulling up a crab trap from the ocean bottom, calculating how heavy it feels as you retrieve the line, and swinging the trap over the gunwale of your boat to finally come face to face with your catch.

It is one of the most celebrated and anticipated of native, Sonoma County ingredients. There are so many ways to prepare the mighty Dungy- simply boiled and served with drawn butter, crab cakes, crab fritters, crab salad, and the list goes on and on. I think the most important thing to remember when preparing crab- keep it simple and let the sweet and delicate flavor of the crab shine through.

Dungeness Crab Risotto
¼ c. olive oil
1 c. diced yellow onion
1 c. Arborio rice
1 glass (6 oz.) Diamond Sauvignon Blanc
4 c. water or crab stock, simmering in a separate pot
2 T. unsalted butter
2 T. mascarpone cheese
2 T. lemon juice
2 T. chives, chopped
½ pound Dungeness crab meat
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat a sauteuse or other wide bottom pan over medium- high heat. Add olive oil to the preheated pan and then add onions, salt, and pepper. Cook onions until translucent and then add the rice. Stir the rice grains with the olive oil and onions until they begin to appear slightly toasted. Deglaze the pan with the glass of Sauvignon Blanc and reduce by half. Begin adding the water to the pan ½ c. at a time, stirring frequently. Repeat until all the water is used up of the rice is cooked to a nice al dente. Finish the risotto with the butter, mascarpone cheese, lemon juice, crab meat, and chives and season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 4 servings.