Meyer Lemon Risotto ~ it’s light, bright, unexpected, and naturally gluten free. The sweet tart Meyer lemon gives this risotto a vibrant boost.
It’s the height of Meyer Lemon season right now, so if you’re ever going to find them, now’s the time. The variety is a cross between a lemon and either a mandarin or navel orange; the exact origin is still a mystery. The reason you don’t see them very often in supermarkets is because they have a fine, thin skin that doesn’t ship well. All the more reason to grab them if you see them. They are a little sweeter, a little more orange colored, and a lot more juicy than regular lemons. They have a fantastic, complex floral flavor.
The key to making an easy breezy risotto is prepping all your ingredients beforehand. Grate your cheese, measure out your wine and lemon juice, heat your stock in a pan right next to your risotto pot. The rice should be kept at a low simmer the entire time it’s cooking, this way the stock will absorb at the proper rate. A silicone spatula works well for stirring and keeping the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
I almost always engineer my risottos as main dishes. I figure if you’re gong to stand over the stove and stir a pot for 30 minutes you might as well get dinner out of the deal. But in this case I don’t want any other ingredients to distract you from the pure delight of Meyer Lemons. So this could be a light lunch, or a side dish to go with just about anything.
Other risotto recipes to try ~
Meyer Lemon Risotto
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 shallots peeled and minced
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1/3 cup dry white wine or sherry
- 1/3 cup fresh Meyer Lemon juice about 3-4 lemons
- 4 cups chicken stock plus 2 cups water
- 1 1/2 oz finely grated Parmesan cheese about 1 cup
- 3 oz Marscapone cheese about 1/3 of an 8 oz container
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- lemon zest
- Heat the chicken stock and water in a saucepan on the stove. It should be hot but not boiling.
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot. Sauce the shallots on low to medium heat for about 5 minutes. Do not let them brown.
- Add the rice to the pot and stir to coat. Toast the rice for a minute, stirring constantly.
- Turn the heat to medium and add in the wine or Sherry and let it sizzle down, stirring constantly.
- Add in the lemon juice, and when it has been incorporated add in the first ladle of hot stock. If your ladle is small, add two ladles at a time. Stir until each addition of stock has been absorbed into the rice, and the sauce is thick, before you add another. The risotto should be at a constant low simmer.
- Keep adding the stock and stirring. You may not need all the stock. Taste the rice after about 20 to 25 minutes of cooking. When the rice is tender, stop adding stock, you may not need all of it.
- Turn off the heat and add the cheeses. Mix well to melt and combine the cheese into the risotto.
- Add salt and pepper to your taste.
- Serve with a garnish of lemon zest and parsley