February 15, 2011

Creamy, Lemony Risotto

I am a risotto newbie. This is the first risotto I have ever tried to make. Like many other risotto noobs, I was intimidated by the cooking process. I didn't think I'd be able to get the consistency right, I was worried about burning the rice, and I thought it would take forever. But then I saw this risotto in Rachael's cookbook. It called to me. Proclaimed it would be life changing...

...I've made it seven times since. Remember, I got this book for Christmas. Can we say obsessed?

If you can boil water, you can make risotto. And you should make this one that I'm about to share with you. It's heavenly. So go grab an onion. Chop it up and throw it into a big pot with a swirl of olive oil heating up. Get another pot, a small saucepan, and heat up some water and chicken stock. Once the onions have become translucent, add the rice. Gradually add the liquids, adding more when you see that it has evaporated. Keep doing this until you have added all the liquids. You do have it watch it though. Don't go off and watch that Oprah episode you DVR'd. Or it will burn. We don't want that to happen.

The rest is a piece of cake.

Depending on how juicy of a lemon you use, this risotto can turn out to be quite lemony. If you're okay with that (cheers), squeeze that whole lemon (careful with the seeds) into the pot. Otherwise you might want to squeeze the lemon juice into a measuring cup first and decide how much you want to add. You can always add more after giving it a taste. As for the cheese, 1/2 cup is plenty, especially if you use Percorino, as called for in the recipe. Adding more can overpower the dish (trust me, I've tried). I personally like Parmigiano-Reggiano for this, but feel free to experiment!  

Source: Rachael Ray Look and Cook Book

1 quart chicken stock
2 cups water
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small to medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
1 cup Arborio rice
1 lemon
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese, a couple of handfuls
2 tablespoons slivered mint leaves
A handful basil tops, shredded or torn
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a small pot, heat the stock and 2 cups water over medium low heat.

In a risotto or large pot with a rounded bottom, heat the extra-virgin olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic to pan and saute to soften 3 to 4 minutes Stir in the rice and add the zest of 1 lemon. Heat the rice for 1 to 2 minutes, then add the wine and cook until evaporated. Add in the hot stock, a few ladles at a time, and stir for a minute with each addition, to develop the starch and the creamy aspect. Total cooking time will be about 18 minutes or so. Keep adding stock each time the pan starts to become dry at the edges. When rice is cooked to al dente, stir in the butter, juice of 1 lemon, the cheese and herbs. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and transfer to a serving bowl. Serve immediately.

So, if you're a risotto newbie, this is the perfect one to start with. You'll be glad you did. 

Link up at Tuesday Night Supper, What's Cooking Wednesday, & Saturday Swap. 


  1. This sounds like a great flavor combo!

  2. Beautiful job on this. I've never actually tried to make risotto before. I may have to tackle it. :)

  3. I've never made lemon risotto before. It sounds so refreshing and lovely!

  4. I absolutely LOVE lemon, I must give this a try!

  5. I've always been scared of risotto, but now I'm definitely going to try it! Thanks for visiting my blog...I'm now following yours...love it!

  6. Thanks Ann- you should definitely try it, I'm sure you'll love it!

  7. that is amazing...and especially as your first attempt. you got skills girl! thank you for sharing with tuesday night supper club.

  8. Risotto is something I tried for the first time last summer.... not sure why I had always been worried to try my hand at it. My family LOVED it! Thanks for linking to Saturday Swap... I'm anxious to try your version.

  9. This looks awesome- I might give it a shot.

  10. I AM a risotto newbie, and this IS the perfect newbie recipe to try it out on. Thanks for sharing!


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