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Lemon Risotto

Lemon Risotto

This creamy risotto is especially good served with fish, such as our shrimp, scallops and stuffed squid (see related recipe at left). Be sure to add the lemon zest to the risotto at the end so its flavor will be fresh and bright; its volatile oils will quickly dissipate if warmed too long.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups vegetable stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 5 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbs. minced shallots
  • 2 1/4 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup coarsely grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
      cheese, plus shaved cheese for garnish
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh chervil (optional)

Directions:

In a saucepan over high heat, combine the stock and 3 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and maintain a simmer.

In another saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 Tbs. of the butter with the olive oil. Add the shallots and sauté until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir until it is opaque, about 3 minutes. Add about 3/4 cup of the simmering stock, adjust the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring, until most of the stock is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Continue adding the stock, about 3/4 cup at a time and stirring constantly, until all but about 1/2 cup of the stock has been used, the rice is nearly tender and still slightly firm in the center, and the mixture is creamy, 20 to 25 minutes.

Add the lemon juice to the remaining 1/2 cup stock and add the mixture, little by little, to the rice along with the remaining 3 Tbs. butter, the lemon zest and the grated cheese, always stirring constantly. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt.

Stir in the chervil. Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with shavings of cheese and serve immediately. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Christmas Entertaining, by Georgeanne Brennan (Simon & Schuster, 2005).