From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I suspect there is an, as yet, unidentified recessive gene that explains why some of us like rice. While I am selective in its preparation, I happen to love the stuff, and given my druthers, I'd have a bowl of fried rice for breakfast and pearl (rice) balls for lunch whenever I could. As a matter of fact, I've featured over 300 recipes on the blog that use rice as a major ingredient. Never satisfied, I'm adding another recipe to that category tonight. I, quite by chance, stumbled on Nigella Lawson's recipe for Lemon Risotto. It caught my eye because it was scaled to feed two people as a main course and I'm always on the lookout for recipes that can be added to my Table for Two collection. I think you'll enjoy this dish. It is creamier than most risottos and it's packed with subtle flavor. If you eat it as soon as the cream and cheese enrichments are added, you'll have an exceptional meal, but do be forewarned, if you allow the rice to sit and cool, it loses its fresh flavors and becomes goopy. I do hope you'll give this recipe a try. It is not difficult to prepare and it makes a marvelous light meal for two. Here is how the risotto is made.
Nigella's Lemon Risotto...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Nigella Lawson
1 rib celery
1/4 cup unsalted butter, divided use
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-1/3 cups risotto rice, preferably Arborio
Approximately 1 quart vegetable stock
1/2 unwaxed lemon, zested and juiced
Needles from 2 small sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 egg yolk
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus more, for garnish
4 tablespoons heavy cream
Good grating black pepper
Maldon or other sea salt, to taste
1) Put shallots and celery into a mini food processor and blitz until they are finely chopped. Heat 2 tablespoons butter, oil and shallot and celery mixture in a wide saucepan, and cook to soften mixture for about 5 minutes, making sure it doesn't stick. Mix in rice, stirring to give it a good coating of oil and butter. Meanwhile, heat stock in another saucepan and keep it at simmering point.
2) Put a ladleful of stock into rice and keep stirring until stock is absorbed. Then add another ladleful and stir again. Continue doing this until rice is al dente. You may not need all of the stock, equally, you may need to add hot water from the kettle.
3) Mix lemon zest and rosemary into risotto, and in a small bowl beat egg yolk, lemon juice, Parmesan, cream and pepper.
4) When risotto is ready - when rice is no longer chalky, but still has some bite - take it off heat and add bowl of eggy, lemony mixture, and remaining butter and salt, to taste. Serve with more Parmesan if you wish, check the seasoning and dive in. Yield: 2 servings.
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