Suddenly I’m realizing that risotto might be on my list of favorite foods, especially when it comes to the realm of comfort foods. Creamy, warm, and pretty much amenable to any kind of flavor pairing, risotto is extremely versatile. For someone who is leftover resistant like me, I’m also pretty amazed at the various things you can make with leftover risotto….without eating another bowl of risotto itself.
I had the original recipe from Williams Sonoma bookmarked for over a year. I kept pushing off making the dish, making excuses like “it takes too long” to make or the flavors weren’t great for the time of the year. Well, now that it’s spring (We biked over 20 miles this past weekend in the most beautiful weather…including seeing three deer by the trail, two turkeys, and various chipmunks and squirrels. This makes me happy.), I wanted to give it a fair go. And I was very glad I did.
Now, I know risotto has this reputation for being a very time consuming dish to make, but honestly, I didn’t think it was too bad. All said and done, I think it took me about 45 minutes from start to finish, but it was so worth it. My next post will be a great way to use leftovers, so when you think about it, 45 minutes for several meal’s worth of food isn’t so bad. For a cheesy cheddar risotto, click here. For a nice mushroom risotto, click here. And for a spring primavera risotto, click here. It’s obvious I like this stuff.
Play around with your flavors here. For a spring version, I added in some spinach and artichokes to give it a bit more flavor. I initially planned on adding in some capers as well, but I forgot. Serve with a nice green salad and a chilled glass of wine. Enjoy.
Lemon Spinach Artichoke Risotto
3 cups vegetable stock
3 and 1/2 cups water
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium shallot, minced
2 and 1/4 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
Zest from one lemon
3/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
1-2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves (adjust to your own tastes)
One 7.5-ounce jar of grilled marinated artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
For garnish: extra lemon, chives, cheese, etc.
1. In a large saucepan over high heat, combine the vegetable stock and the water. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer.
2. In another large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter with the 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
3. Add the shallot and cook until softened, about 3 minutes or so.
4. Add the rice and stir for about 3 minutes.
5. Add about 3/4 cup of the simmering vegetable stock (adjusting the heat if necessary to keep the remaining stock at a simmer), and cook, stirring the rice constantly until the stock is absorbed, about 2-3 minutes.
6. Continue adding the stock, about 3/4 cup at a time and stirring constantly, until all but about 1/2 cup of the stock has been used. (This part took me about 20 minutes.)
7. Add the lemon juice to the remaining 1/2 cup stock and add the stock/lemon juice mixture, little by little, to the rice, stirring until almost completely absorbed.
8. Add remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, lemon zest, spinach, and artichokes,stirring constantly and breaking up the artichokes a bit with your spoon.
9. Add in the cheese, stirring until completely melted. Adjust to taste with salt/pepper and additional lemon juice if desired. Garnish with chives, additional cheese, and extra lemon.
Source: Adapted from Williams Sonoma.