This reader request in the October 2010 issue of Bon Appetit magazine was actually for a meal of lamb shanks and lemon risotto at Restaurant Saveur but I had just cooked a lamb dish last month and still had some leftovers frozen so I decided to just make the lemon risotto.
What can I say? I love, love, loved it! The fresh risotto flavor was great but it was the addition of roasted cherry tomatoes that made this dish shine. I literally struggled with putting it down testing it. You know…maybe I should just try one more bite to see if the seasoning needs to be corrected just a bit. It didn’t and I did…eat WAY too much during that process. Bad Barb!
Like a lot of other cooks, I avoided risotto for a long time as it carries what I think is an unwarranted label of being difficult. It’s anything but. What it does require is some attention; so it’s not a dish you can walk away from but in the course of preparing dinner; if you’re in the kitchen anyhow…I think it’s really easy and the warm, sustaining results are worthy of a few minutes of attention.
I had just picked up pint of the loveliest multi-color cherry tomatoes at Whole Foods. They are not a necessity to make this dish, but they certainly added a WOW! factor with their vibrant colors. I’ve made a couple of substitutions too. I hardly ever use arugula; seems difficult to find and so pricey…I often substitute fresh spinach and did the same here. I also decided to forgo using Italian parsley as called for; I didn’t have it and I didn’t miss it!
Lemon Risotto from Bon Appetit RSVP – October, 2010
- 1 12-ounce package cherry tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 5 cups (about) low-salt chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1/2 medium white onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups (loosely packed) baby spinach
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Place tomatoes on rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast until skins begin to wrinkle, about 12 minutes. Set aside. Pour 5 cups broth into small saucepan; bring to simmer. Cover and keep warm.
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat in large saucepan. Add onion; sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add rice and garlic; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir 2 minutes. Add wine; stir until almost all liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1 cup broth. Cook until almost all liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently and adjusting heat if necessary to maintain gentle simmer, about 5 minutes. Continue to add broth by cupfuls, stirring often, until rice is tender, about 25 minutes total. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon butter and all remaining ingredients. Fold in tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
Adapted from Restaurant Saveur, Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin
Bon Appetit, October 2010