Lemon Risotto


1.the yellowish, acid fruit of a subtropical citrus tree, Citrus limon.
2.the tree itself.
3.lemon yellow.
4.Informal. a person or thing that proves to be defective, imperfect, or unsatisfactory; dud: His car turned out to be a lemon.

The above is what you see when you look up lemon in dictionary.com.

What a bad rap!! For something so truly amazing in it’s uses in the culinary world, not to mention others, this definition in no way does the lemon justice.

Lemons are the star, the VIP of the kitchen! Not only a feature in numerous, delicious desserts (please see previous blog posts!!) the savoury kitchen would also be lost without it. Imagine…fish without it, vinaigrette without it, no lemon to cut the heaviness of cream… in decadent things like lemon cream pasta sauce. Or to brighten and add zing to recipes such as this.

Imagine, summer with no lemonade??? Or no Limoncello to sip as the best after dinner ‘digestive’ going!! While risotto is not traditionally a summer food, the lemon creaminess of this recipe helps make it so. It’s a perfect course before grilled fish or prawns… any type of seafood really.

Lemon Risotto

The 15 – 20 minutes of stirring to make this recipe from Anna del Conte is quite meditative, setting you up nicely for a bowl of comfort, Italian style. Be sure to have the stock on a simmer, with a ladle at the ready. Adding cold stock would interrupt the cooking process, adding further & unnecessary time at the stove. Serves 2 as a main or 4 smaller portions as starter.

2 shallots or 1 small onion, diced finely
a good glug of olive oil
1 1/2 cups risotto rice
1 litre veg or chicken stock, heated
zest & juice of 1 lemon
1 sprig rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan (plus more for garnish)
4 tbsp heavy cream
salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
**Bonus veg & colour: add a handful of fresh peas or chopped arugula to the finished risotto

Put your stock in a saucepan and heat to almost boiling, then turn down to a simmer.

Finely dice the shallots or onion.

Heat the oil in a heavy bottom pot or deep sided skillet over medium heat and add the onion to cook for a few minutes, simply to soften – you don’t want it to colour.

Add the rice, stirring to coat all the grains. Add a ladle of stock, stirring until the stock is absorbed. Add another ladle, repeating the process. Keep doing this until the rice is al dente, or a little further if you prefer, 15 – 20 minutes depending on your heat and cooking vessel. You’ll see the rice change as the cooking progresses.  Note you may need less stock, and if you need more, simply use water.

Add the lemon zest and rosemary to the risotto.

In a small bowl beat together the egg yolk, lemon juice, Parmesan, cream & pepper.

When the risotto is cooked to your liking, remove it from the heat. Stir in the egg & cream mixture. Taste for seasoning (it may need a little salt or more pepper). *Add your bonus green here if using. Garnish with a bit more Parmesan and dive in.