When I think of risotto, I think of a creamy, decadent, and expensive meal at some fancy pants restaurant that we would not be able to afford. But did you know that risotto was once considered “peasant food” because it is literally just rice that is stirred frequently to develop the rices’ starches to develop that desired creamy texture. There is actually no cream in risotto!
You can buy boxed risotto at the store that is filled with preservatives, unnecessary additional sodium, and a price tag of convience. Or you can make your own risotto that is literally half the cost with your own fresh ingredients.
With this creamy lemon risotto you can bring the fancy pants restaurant into your own home and impress your family or friends.
People often think that risotto is a fussy dish that you have to constantly babysit. I once thought the same until I tried this recipe.
Creamy Lemon Risotto
original recipe found here
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small to medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic grated
- 1 cup Arborio (or long grain) rice
- 2 lemons
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- A handful basil tops, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a medium pot being to heat the chicken stock and water until it is warm. Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a large sauce pot over medium high heat and add the onion and garlic to soften, for about 5 minutes. Add in the rice and zest of one lemon (just use a microplain grater and take the yellow skin off the lemon-do not grate down to the white part because it is bitter. I also usually buy an organic lemon when I zest it because you are literally eating the skin off of it).
Stir the rice and lemon zest until it is brown and fragrant, about 2 minutes. After the rice is browned, add in your white wine and cook until the alcohol is evaporated, for about 2 minutes. Once the wine has evaporated add in a few ladles the heated chicken stock/water mixture and stir for about a minute to develop the rices starches. When it looks like the edges of the rice in the pot start to look a little dry, add in a few more ladles of the stock/water mixture and stir for another minute.
While the rice is cooking work on chopping up your basil, butter and supreming your lemon and cutting it into small pieces. (If you have no idea what supreming a lemon is take a quick look at this video for instruction.)
The total cook time of the rice, from the time you add your first ladle of chicken stock to finish, will be about 18 minutes. You really don’t want to over cook the rice because then it will be soggy instead of creamy.
Once the rice is done cooking turn off the head and add in the parmesan cheese, butter, lemon sections, basil, salt, and pepper. Stir until well combined and serve immediately.