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Yummy Lemony Risotto

February 25, 2006

A lot of people hesitate to try their hand at risotto because they think it’s too much work. It’s really not, though. Risotto isn’t hard to make, it just takes some time, and it’s so versatile that you can make it go with anything.

Here’s my favorite version.

1 tbsp olive oil (and 1 tbsp of butter, if you wish)
1/3 cup finely diced onion (or shallot, if you wish)
1 cup arborio rice
3 cups chicken broth (or any mixture of broth and water)
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup to 1/3 cup grated parmesan or romano cheese

See! So few ingredients! It can’t be that hard!

Put a saucepan (a saucier is probably best, but a regular saucepan will work) over medium-high heat.

Add the olive oil and butter and heat until the butter melts and foams. Add the onion (or shallot) and cook slowly. Don’t let the onion burn or fry; stir constantly so that the onion gets nice and soft. I like to cook the onion for a good 10 minutes, because Mr. Angst doesn’t like crunchy onions. Plus, the softer they are, the sweeter they get. (Oh, and don’t use red onions; they turn everything pink.)

Once the onions are soft and fragrant, add the rice. Stir the rice in the oil/butter until it’s toasty. Don’t burn the rice grains, but if they get a little browned, it’s OK. Stir the rice in for a good two minutes.

While you are stirring the rice, heat 1 cup of chicken broth until almost boiling. When the broth is hot and the rice is just starting to turn toasty, add the broth to the pot. It will probably sizzle and steam. This is OK. Stir everything in well together and let the broth come up to a low boil. Keep stirring to help the rice absorb the liquid.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 cups of the liquid. (It’s OK if you don’t use all broth; you can use some water. But use some broth, for the flavor.)

As the first cup of broth is absorbed, add more liquid, in half-cup increments. Keep adding liquid as it is absorbed. The rice should have a creamy texture now. Keep stirring and stirring and stirring all the while. (OK, it doesn’t have to be constant, but don’t walk away for twenty minutes or anything.)

Once you’ve added all the liquid, and the rice is creamy, add the lemon zest and juice. Stir in and cook for a couple of minutes to help the flavors meld. Remove the pot from the heat, stir in the cheese, and serve! Yummy!

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Categories: food
  1. Q
    February 27, 2006 at 10:18 pm

    I love risotto! The recipe looks great. Risotto really is not as hard as they make it seem on the Food Network. I recommend trying pumpkin risotto. Now, I will put pumpkin in anything I can get my hands on, but it really is tasty and fulfilling, on a cold night.

  2. May
    September 11, 2006 at 10:54 am

    The very word, “risotto,” used to intimidate me. But after finding your recipe, I got the courage to try it. You’re right, it really is that easy! I look forward to trying out new add-ins like shrimp or broccoli. Thanks again for making me a risotto convert.

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