This is a recipe for a very simple risotto with lemon zest and Parmesan. It’s creamy and bright and excellent all by itself but also a great base for roasted asparagus or fresh peas. It would be a lovely accompaniment to salmon or roast chicken. I recently served it with shrimp scampi and that was also an excellent pairing. It requires a fair amount of stirring and watching, but overall its easy to make.
What you need:
1 cup Arborio Rice
1 large shallot, chopped
3 tablespoons good salted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup dry white wine (a Gavi or dry Pinot Grigio works well)
4 cups chicken broth
zest from 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
First warm your broth in a glass measuring cup in the microwave or simmer it in a pot on the stove so that it will be warm while you use it. You want to keep the temperature of your risotto even while you cook it and using cold broth will make this difficult.
Next chop your shallot and place it in a warm pan over medium heat with 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and stir until the shallot begins to soften (about 5 minutes). Add your rice and stir to coat it with the butter and olive oil. Let it toast for a few minutes but be careful not to brown it, so stir it often. After about 3-4 minutes add your wine and allow to simmer and evaporate (1-2 minutes). Now add 1 cup of broth and stir occasionally while it simmers and evaporates. When the rice has absorbed most of the broth, add another half cup of broth and continue this process of stirring, evaporating, and adding more broth until your rice has absorbed most of or all 4 cups of broth and is nice and tender but not mushy. It should take about 15-20 minutes overall. Turn off the heat and stir in your lemon zest, Parmesan, and another tbsp of butter. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Enjoy!
**If you would like to serve with shrimp like I did, transfer the risotto to a warm plate. In the same pan that you just cooked the risotto in add another 2 tbsp of butter and olive oil, and a splash of the same white wine. Bring to a simmer and cook off the alcohol. Add 4 cloves sliced garlic. Toss in one pound of shrimp and some salt and pepper. Cook the shrimp, stirring once or twice. It should be finished in 5 minutes (Shrimp will be bright pink/orange when done, take them off before they curl). If you are using peeled shrimp, they will cook even faster. Add some parsley at the end : )