From the kitchen: Meyer Lemon Risotto
When I think of risotto, I immediately get images of an angry Gordan Ramsey spitting fire at a poor reality show chef for overcooking, undercooking, or making a version of “ree-zoh-toh” that he deems repulsive. Plain and simple, risotto sort of scares me. Correction. It used to scare me. I’ve conquered risotto by now. I can make it in my sleep (that’s a lie), I can make it take on all sorts of flavors (truth), I can make it as a main course or as a side. I own this dish. But that wasn’t always the case. My first risotto was crunchy, grey and completely unedible. GR would be pissed! But after a few goes and several consultations with my favorite cookbook of all time, I finally have risotto down. We love this Meyer lemon rendition. It’s tart yet creamy, filling but not too heavy – deliciously well rounded and great on it’s own or paired up with fish or chicken. Best of all, it tastes better the next day so making enough for leftovers is a must!
p.s. you can use any kind of lemon. I like Meyer’s because they’re super juicy and photograph beautifully.
MEYER LEMON RISOTTO (originally from Bon Appetite)
Makes 4-main course servings or about 6-side servings
- 6 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
- 3 1/2 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large shallots, chopped
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 4 teaspoons grated lemon zest
It’s important that your broth start off hot when it meets the rice so bring it to simmer in large saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low; cover to keep warm. In a separate large saucepan or dutch oven, melt 1 1/2 tablespoons butter with oil over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until tender, about 6 minutes. Add rice; stir 1 minute. Add wine and stir until evaporated, about 30 seconds. Add 1 1/2 cups hot broth; simmer until absorbed, stirring frequently. Add remaining broth 1/2 cup at a time, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more and stirring frequently until rice is creamy and tender, about 35 minutes. Stir in cheese and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Remove from heat. Stir in parsley, lemon juice, and lemon peel. Season risotto with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl and serve.
NOTE: Unlike rice, risotto requires your undivided attention. Stir it frequently, adding liquid until it’s soft, creamy and fully cooked.