But the title says lemon Risotto. Okay, so I changed it up a little this time. I was really in the mood for risotto, and I’d purchased some lovely crab cakes from a local food market, and I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t these crab cakes be great with something lemony?" Hmmm….and the idea for lemon risotto was born!
There are many, many varieties of rice in the world. In most cultures, certain types of rice are used for certain types of dishes. And so it is in Italy. It seems in the U.S., I find Arborio rice most often used to make risotto. In Italy Carnaroli rice is preferred. This is another reason my suitcases are so heavy when I return from a trip to Italy.
4 cups of chicken broth
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 cup of Arborio or Carnaroli rice
One small onion, finely diced
Zest of one lemon, save a little for garnish
Juice of one lemon
¼ c. of cream
Chopped basil for garnish
In a sauce pan, heat up your chicken broth, and keep it on low heat to stay warm.
In a large skillet, heat up a good drizzle of olive oil and toss in the smashed garlic clove. Rub the clove all around until it begins to brown, then discard it.
Add your rice and chopped onion to the hot garlic-scented oil. Make sure to coat the grains of rice with oil. When the onion begins to wilt, add in one ladle of hot broth. Let it simmer its way into the grains of rice and become absorbed. Stir.
Before you’ve finished using up your broth, add in the juice of one lemon. Let that liquid begin to absorb as well. Continue to ladle your broth in one scoop at a time until the rice is al dente. You may not use all your broth, but I like to heat up plenty, because running short of broth puts me in a panic.
Now that the rice is al dente and nice and creamy, stir in the grated parmesan. Take it off the heat and quickly stir in the cream and lemon zest.
I served this risotto with one of my favorite bottles of Pinot Gris from Adelsheim Vineyards in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.