Lemon Risotto

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6 first-course or 4 main-course Servings


  • 6 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 2 cups arborio rice or medium-grain white rice
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon jucie
  • 4 teaspoons grated lemon peel

Recipe Preparation

  • Bring broth to simmer in large saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low; cover to keep warm. Melt 1 1/2 tablespoons butter with oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until tender, about 6 minutes. Add rice; stir 1 minute. Add wine and stir until evaporated, about 30 seconds. Add 1 1/2 cups hot broth; simmer until absorbed, stirring frequently. Add remaining broth 1/2 cup at a time, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more and stirring frequently until rice is creamy and tender, about 35 minutes. Stir in cheese and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in parsley, lemon juice, and lemon peel. Season risotto with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl and serve.

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Meyer Lemon Risotto


  • Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 quarts (6 cups) water
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion (about 1/2 a med onion)
  • 2 cups arborio rice or other risotto rice
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 or 2 Meyer lemons, enough for 1 Tbsp of zest, and 3 Tbsp of juice (if using regular lemons instead of Meyer, you'll need less juice, start with 1 Tbsp and add more to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped, fresh oregano leaves (can also use mint)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts (optional)
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan (optional)


Put 1 1/2 quarts (6 cups) of water into a pot. Add 1 level tablespoon of kosher salt (or 2 level teaspoons if you are using table salt). Bring to a boil. Lower the heat to warm, cover and keep warm while you make the risotto.

In a large, wide sauté pan, heat olive oil and butter on medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the rice. Stir to coat. Cook, stirring, 5-7 minutes, until the rice just barely begins to brown on some of the grains.

Stir continuously, a few minutes, until the liquid has been completely absorbed by the rice.

Lower the heat to medium low. Start adding the hot salted water to the rice, one ladleful (about 1/2 cup) at a time. After each addition, stir continuously for a few minutes until the rice has completely absorbed the liquid.

Stir enough to keep the rice from sticking to the edge of the pan. Stirring continuously helps extract starch from the rice, to make a creamy sauce for the rice.

You'll end up adding a total of about 4 to 5 cups of water, depending on the rice you are using (older rice may need more water).

Continue to add water and stir, until the rice is cooked through and just a tiny bit chewy. The whole process should take about 30 minutes or so. Risotto is a labor of love.

reserving a little bit of lemon zest and oregano to sprinkle on top upon service. Do a taste test. If the rice needs more seasoning, add more salt and pepper. Add more lemon juice if you want.

To serve, sprinkle a little lemon zest and fresh oregano on top, along with a few toasted pine nuts and finely grated Parmesan if using. Use as an accompaniment to fish, shellfish, or lamb.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large leek, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • ½ pound bay scallops
  • ½ pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup fresh snow peas, trimmed and halved crosswise
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ground black pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook the leek and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice, and cook for 5 minutes more, stirring frequently.

Pour in 1 1/2 cups of the chicken broth, and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes, continuing to stir. Pour in the remaining chicken broth and wine, increase heat to medium, and cook for about 5 more minutes, stirring constantly.

Add the scallops, shrimp, peas, and red pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until the remaining liquid is almost absorbed, and the seafood has cooked, about 5 minutes. When the rice is just tender and slightly creamy, season with Parmesan cheese, basil, lemon juice, and pepper.


Full recipe and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

  • Chicken breasts.
  • Olive oil.
  • Rosemary.
  • Salt and pepper.
  • Onion.
  • Garlic.
  • Fresh lemon.
  • Arborio rice.
  • White wine.
  • Chicken stock.
  • Mascarpone. (Optional)
  • Butter.
  • Parmesan.
  • Parsley.


Making Basic Risotto Ahead: Follow the recipe for lemon risotto through step 3. (You will have used about 4 to 4 1/2 cups of stock.) Remove from heat. Using a wooden spoon, spread rice into a thin layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate up to 24 hours. Cover the remaining stock (if not using that day, transfer it to the refrigerator). To finish risotto: Bring stock to a boil turn off heat. Scrape rice from sheet into a medium saucepan. Stir in stock, 1/2 cup at a time, and cook, stirring constantly, as in main recipe, until risotto is done. Follow step 5 of main recipe.

Recipe Summary

  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 large shallot, diced small
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 cup Arborio or Carnaroli rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
  • 1/2 cup carrot juice
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan (1/4 ounce)
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

In a medium saucepan, bring broth to a simmer reduce heat and keep warm. In a 10-inch heavy- bottomed skillet or pot, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high. Add shallot, season with salt and pepper, and cook until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, until rice is translucent at edges, 1 minute.

Add wine and stir until evaporated, about 2 minutes. With a ladle, add about 1 cup broth to skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, until broth is absorbed, 4 minutes. Repeat, gradually adding broth by the cupful and stirring constantly, until rice is tender but still al dente and sauce is creamy (you may not need all of broth), 20 to 25 minutes. Add carrot juice and stir until absorbed, 4 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons butter, Parmesan, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Here’s what you’ll need

This isn’t just your average risotto. It’s a delicious blend of creamy ingredients that pair together to offer incredible flavor with a zesty touch. It leaves you feeling oh-so-full, but in the best way possible. Here’s what you’ll need.

  • Base: We’ll saute our base flavors – onion, garlic, and celery – in a bit of olive oil until soft and fragrant.
  • Arborio Rice: The star of the show, arborio (a.k.a. risotto) rice! This medium-grain rice has a lot of amylopectin starch, making it creamy when cooked.
  • White Wine: Wine works so well in many different types of dishes. This is one of them! It adds depth of flavor (though you can leave it out if you’re avoiding alcohol).
  • Vegetable Broth: The rice will be cooked in vegetable broth for extra oomph. Go for 4 cups of a low-sodium brand.
  • The Fats: This is risotto, friends, no need to count calories today. Parmesan cheese and butter take your risotto to the next level.
  • Flavors: You can’t have lemon risotto without the lemon! We will be using the juice and zest from ½ of a lemon, along with fresh chopped basil.
  • Salt and Pepper: Finally, add a dash of salt and pepper to taste! About ¼ tsp of each should work.

Lemon risotto

Prep 15 min
Cook 30 min
Serves 4

60g butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots
, peeled and finely chopped
1 stick celery
, finely chopped
Salt and black pepper
350g risotto rice
(arborio or canaroli)
100ml dry white wine or 50ml dry vermouth
1-1.25 litres light chicken or vegetable stock
, simmering
1 large unwaxed lemon
(zest and juice)
75g mascarpone or robiola
60g parmesan
, grated

In a large, heavy-based frying pan or enamel-based cast iron casserole, warm half the butter and all the oil over a medium-low flame then gently fry/ stew the onion and celery along with a pinch of salt until soft and translucent - this will take about seven minutes. Add the rice and stir until each grain glistens – you want them to become partly translucent and to smell slightly toasty.

In another pan on the back of the stove, keep the stock at a simmer.

Raise the flame, add the wine or vermouth and let it bubble and evaporate for a minute. Start to add the stock, ladle by ladle, stirring continuously while everything bubbles at a lively pace, allowing each ladleful to be absorbed by the rice before adding the next. Add the lemon zest after 10 minutes. Continue until the rice is tender but with a slight nutty bite, and the risotto is soft and rippling. This can take anything from 17 - 25 minutes depending on the rice you are using: keep tasting.

Pull the pan from the heat and, using a wooden spoon, firmly beat the remaining butter, mascarpone, parmesan, two tablespoons of lemon juice and a generous grind of black pepper into the rice. Cover the pan and leave to rest for one minute. Beat again and serve.

Watch the video: Risotto alla Milanese - Ριζότο Μιλανέζε. Master Class By Chef Panos Ioannidis (June 2022).


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