Lemon-Parmesan Risotto

Creamy Italian risotto with a hint of citrus! Ready in 35 minutes.

  • Prep Time 35 min
  • Total Time 35 min
  • Servings 8

Ingredients

4
cups chicken broth
1
cup water
1/2
teaspoon salt
2
tablespoons butter
1
tablespoon olive oil
2
cups uncooked Arborio rice or medium-grain rice
2/3
cup dry white wine or chicken broth
1/2
cup grated Parmesan cheese
1
tablespoon finely shredded lemon peel
1
tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2
tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 In 2-quart saucepan, heat broth, water and salt to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low to keep broth warm.
  • 2 In 4- to 5-quart Dutch oven, heat butter and oil over medium heat until butter stops sizzling. Stir in rice until coated and heat, stirring constantly, until kernels are slightly translucent around edges. Add wine and heat 3 minutes longer, stirring constantly, until rice absorbs liquid.
  • 3 Reduce heat to medium-low and stir well. Add 1 cup broth (a 1/2-cup ladle works well for adding the broth) to rice so there is just enough to barely cover the rice. Continue cooking and stirring about 5 minutes or until rice has absorbed most of the broth. Add another 1 cup broth and cook about 5 minutes longer, stirring constantly, until broth is almost absorbed. Repeat twice, adding 1 cup broth each time and cooking until broth is almost absorbed and rice is al dente (firm to the bite) and creamy. Stir in cheese, lemon peel and lemon juice. Remove from heat and sprinkle with parsley.

Expert Tips

Why it Works: Through Thick and Thin Think of risotto as savory rice pudding. Rice pudding achieves its texture as the rice cooks and releases starch to thicken the surrounding milk. Unlike rice pudding, risotto is characterized by slightly firm rice. Because the rice does not cook through, there is not enough time for the starch to thicken the broth. Several techniques are used to solve this problem. Short-grain rice (usually Italian Arborio or Carnaroli) is used for its greater amount of surface starch. And the rice is constantly stirred as it cooks in broth. The friction of each grain hitting its neighbor pushes more starch into the surrounding liquid. For that reason, broth is added a little at a time; if it was added all at once, you would lose the friction and the creamy consistency.

Recipe Rx: Mushy vs. Creamy Risotto is not something that most of us eat on a daily basis. It is a cooked very differently than regular rice and spotting the right finished texture can be tricky. The final consistency you are looking for is creamy but not runny or mushy. The Italians (who invented risotto) say that the right texture is all’onda, which roughly translates as “with waves”. This means that when you stir the finished dish it should still be thin enough to create a small wave in the pot. In the end, though, it is your pot of risotto. Find the texture you like and enjoy.

Nutrition Information

NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories
270
(
Calories from Fat
70),
% Daily Value
Total Fat
8g
8%
(Saturated Fat
3g,
3%
Trans Fat
0g
0%
),
Cholesterol
15mg
15%;
Sodium
800mg
800%;
Total Carbohydrate
41g
41%
(Dietary Fiber
0g
0%
  Sugars
0g
0%
),
Protein
9g
9%
;
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
4%;
Vitamin C
2%;
Calcium
10%;
Iron
10%;
Exchanges:
2 1/2 Starch; 0 Fruit; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 1 1/2 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choices:
3
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.