Thursday, October 27, 2011

Lemon-y Snickett Risotto

Ingredients, minus dairy products
It's almost Halloween! What better to do than to have Halloween-themed food (which I fully intend to do for at least a couple of posts--hopefully that intention will actually happen!)? This post is inspired by E's recent endeavors into a (wonderful) lemon risotto. She's made it a couple of times now and it seems worthy of sharing with others. I'm not sure which site she got it from originally, either, but I am going to try and write it up to best reflect what she does when she makes it.

So, what makes this risotto lemon-y snickett risotto? Honestly, not much. Okay, not anything. Totally unauthorized re-use of the name (hence Lemon-y with a hyphen and snickett with two "t's") BUT, this basic lemon risotto can be dressed up with little "lumps of coal" (aka black olives), reptile tongues (aka carrot curls), or fire flecks (aka red pepper flakes).
Risotto in Pot
E seems to have endless patience for stirring the risotto rice--but honestly this doesn't take that long to make, as far as risottos go. In the past, I made a risotto that took forever to cook. And I don't remember it being as tasty as this one. The original recipe calls for parsley, but we haven't used it yet. I imagine it would brighten up the flavor nicely and provide lovely little flecks of green to make it look even fresher (serpent scales to go with the theme of lemon-y snickett?). We also haven't used shallots, but instead just use a bit of yellow onion. I suspect that the lightly garlicky flavor of shallots would be beautiful in this dish, so if you can get your hands on it, you should definitely use shallot in favor of the onion. Don't skip the lemon zest. It'll taste fine without it--but you get an extra hit of lemon flavor whenever you bite into a zesty curl.

Like many risottos, this dish is rich. But fabulous. And I would happily make/eat it for breakfast if I wanted something savory/lemony one morning and had all the ingredients handy. I might also saute some mushrooms and add that, but E doesn't like fungus, so we haven't tried that.

Lemon-y Risotto
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 cups arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
ZestingTools & Zest
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
3 tablespoons lemon juice (at least!)
4 teaspoons grated lemon zest

Bring broth and water to a simmer in a large bot over medium heat. Reduce heat to low; cover to keep warm. Meanwhile, saute onions in the olive oil and butter over medium-low heat, until tender, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add the arborio rice; stir one minute. Add wine and stir until evaporated. Add 1 1/2 cups broth; simmer until absorbed, stirring frequently.

Add remaining broth 1/2 cup at a time, simmering until completely absorbed before adding more broth. This will take about 35 minutes. Stir in cheese, then lemon juice. Add zest just before serving.
Risotto with "fire flecks"

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