The first time I had lemon risotto was at a local Italian restaurant. It was the single most delicious risotto that I had ever had. It’s amazing how something so simple can taste so good. I had made many types of fancy risottos at home, but they had never come close to the simple deliciousness that I tasted that night. Since then I have been making risotto alot more often as a side dish. For my lemon risotto recipe here, you can use either regular or Meyer lemons, however you may want to add the juice of 2 lemons if you use Meyer lemons. I seasoned it simply with onions, garlic and white pepper, however you can substitute the garlic and onion with shallots. I garnished it with some fresh Italian parsley and that’s it. I served it with grilled Mahi-Mahi and roasted asparagus to make a fancy fake-out dinner at home.
If you’ve never made risotto, don’t be intimidated by those hoity-toity chefs that say it’s so difficult, because that’s just a lie. It’s so simple to make, as long as you follow three simple key steps. The first one is when you saute the rice, make sure every grain of rice is coated well in olive oil or butter. Just keep adding your preferred fat (it will seem like alot) until all the rice is coated well. The second step is to make sure to add warm stock, and only a ladle at a time to the rice. Let the rice absorb all the liquid before adding more liquid. The last step is to not worry about stirring it constantly. It’s a common myth that risotto has to be baby-sat and stirred constantly through the whole cooking process. You only have to stir before and after adding liquid.
Here is a great video that explains how easy cooking risotto is:
2 cups arborio rice
6 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup vermouth or white wine
the zest of 3 lemons
the juice of 1 lemons
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 – 4 tablespoons olive oil (enough to coat all rice)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
freshly chopped Italian parsley to garnish
1. Bring chicken stock to a simmer in a saucepan. Preheat a large skillet. Drizzle with olive oil and add onions, garlic and rice. Stir and add additional olive oil until every grain of rice is completely coated. Saute for about 5 minutes, or until the edges of the rice start to turn translucent.
2. Add vermouth or white wine and stir. Let the wine be absorbed. Add 1 ladle of warm chicken stock and stir until all liquid is absorbed. Stir well and let it sit over a very slow simmer until the liquid is absorbed, and then add another ladle of liquid and stir again. Continue this process until all the liquid is absorbed.
3. When rice is done, it should be al-dente, add cheese and stir well to melt and mix in. Add lemon juice and lemon zest. Mix well. Serve immediately garnished with freshly chopped Italian parsley.
Video courtesy of youtube.com/DeLalloFoods