Saffron-Salsify Risotto (Schwarzwurzel-Risotto)

A simple and creamy saffron-salsify risotto recipe made with black salsify and Prosciutto di Parma that gets its vivid color from saffron. Hearty, fragrant and delicious.
Course Main Course
Category Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Autor elle


  • 500 g black salsify (Schwarzwurzel), washed, peeled and stalks sliced thinly on a sharp angle (once peeled, soak in water and lemon juice – see note below)
  • 750 ml chicken broth
  • 250 ml water
  • 1 fat pinch saffron threads
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 80 g Prosciutto di Parma, chopped
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2-3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups arborio risotto rice (250 g)
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine (185 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 30 g freshly grated parmesan cheese (about 1/3 cup)
  • flat-leaf parsley, to garnish (optional)


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the broth, water, and saffron to a simmer over medium. Reduce the heat to low and cover.
  2. In a wide skillet or a wide saucepan, heat the olive oil, over medium to medium-high. Add the prosciutto and cook, stirring often, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the shallots, garlic and thinly sliced salsify (Schwarzwurzel). Cook, stirring often, until the shallot softens, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the rice; stir 1 minute and season with salt and pepper. Add the wine and stir until almost evaporated, 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the broth mixture, about 1 cup (250 ml) at a time, stirring between additions, until almost absorbed. This should take about 18-20 minutes for al dente risotto. Slowly adding hot broth to arborio rice helps release the starch, giving this saffron-salsify risotto a silky, creamy texture.
  5. To finish, stir in the butter, then the cheese and season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  6. Serve immediately and enjoy!