Let's Cook with Meg and Ted

Lemon and Vodka Risotto

45 g butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
200 g arborio rice
1.5 litres (approximately) vegetable stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons very finely chopped fresh mint
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
50 ml vodka
90 g freshly grated parmesan

Heat 30g of the butter, and the olive oil, in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon until every grain is coated with the butter and oil and lightly toasted (2-4 minutes).

In another saucepan, have the stock simmering. Add one ladle of the hot stock to the rice and cook, stirring, until it is absorbed. Add another ladleful and repeat this procedure for approximately 20 minutes, adding more stock as the previous lot is absorbed. Taste the rice to see if it is ready: it should be tender but still firm to the bite, but not chalky.

When the rice is cooked, remove the saucepan from the heat and add salt and pepper to taste. Then add the mint, lemon juice, zest and vodka. Stir in the remaining butter and about a third of the cheese. Cover the saucepan tightly and leave it for 2-5 minutes. Serve immediately that's done, and pass the remaining parmesan separately.

Serves 4 as an entree, or 2 as a main.

April 2000

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