What could be more comforting than a bowl of creamy risotto, scented with saffron and lemon?
‘Risotto Milanese’ is one of my favorites and like all risotto, it’s ready in under 30 minutes, making this a wonderful supper dish for those days when you’re feeling a bit lazy or perhaps slightly hung over. Vegetarians can replace the chicken stock with a good vegetable broth – and pass around some extra freshly-grated Parmigiano Reggiano for those that need it…
RISOTTO MILANESE (with Saffron & Lemon Zest)
A splash of olive oil
1 oz (30g) of butter
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
11 oz (300g) of Arborio (risotto) rice
A generous pinch of saffron, preferably La Mancha
7 fl oz (200ml) of dry white wine
1 pint (500ml) of organic chicken or vegetable broth combined with 1 pint (500ml) of water
Zest and juice of half a smallish lemon
2 oz (50g) of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus extra to serve
Bring the stock and water to a low simmer. Heat the oil and butter in a wide heavy sauté pan/skillet and gently cook the shallot until it’s translucent, then add the garlic. Cook, stirring for a couple of minutes then add the rice and saffron – give it a good stir to coat the rice and add the white wine. Turn up the heat and boil until all the wine is absorbed, then add two ladles-full of the very hot stock/water to the rice. Simmer until the liquid is absorbed and repeat until you’ve used all the liquid, stirring regularly.
After about 20 minutes the rice should be ‘al dente’ that is, still very slightly firm. You don’t want mushy rice.
Take it off the heat and let it rest for a couple of minutes then stir in the grated cheese, lemon zest and juice and if you’re feeling particularly naughty, some extra butter.
Serve immediately in warm bowls with extra cheese to pass around.