Let's Cook with Meg and Ted

Lemon risotto

This is Nigella Lawson recipe, from Nigella Bites. I have now and then felt worried about putting other people's recipes on this website, but I feel a bit better about it now, because the reason I bought this recipe book was that I saw this risotto recipe on another webpage, tried it and loved it, and decided I wanted more.

I have made a couple of minor changes to the recipe - in the original, the shallots and celery are blitzed in a processor rather than chopped, and an egg yolk is added to the lemon cream mixture. I changed the first because I actually like the little bits of celery to be more obvious (and also I'd rather wash up a knife than a food processor), and the second because I didn't feel that it added anything - but do whatever you like, obviously. I've also tried it with the addition of podded and peeled broad beans and feta, which was interesting, but I think I prefer the recipe as it is.

2 shallots
2 sticks of celery
60 g butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
400 g arborio rice
1.5 - 2 litres vegetable stock
zest of 1 lemon and juice of a half
2 sprigs of rosemary, leaves stripped and finely chopped
4 tablespoons grated parmesan
4 tablespoons (60ml) double cream
Maldon salt to taste
a grating of pepper, preferably white

Finely chop the shallots and the celery, then heat with the oil and half the butter in a large saucepan, and cook to soften about 5 minutes. Mix in the rice, stirring to give it a good coating of oil and butter. Meanwhile, heat the stock in another saucepan and keep it at simmering point.

Pour a ladleful of the stock into the rice and keep stirring until the stock is absorbed. Then add another ladleful and stir again. Continue.

Mix the lemon zest and rosemary into the risotto, and in a small bowl beat the lemon juice, parmesan, cream and pepper. When the risotto is ready - the rice is no longer chalky, but still has some bite - take it off the heat and add the bowl of lemony mixture, and the remaining butter and salt to taste. Serve at once with more grated parmesan if you wish.

Serves 4.

May 2002

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