• Karine Wlasichuk

It All Started with a Lonely Lemon: Lemony-Parm Risotto

I saw the lonely lemon. I whispered 'I can help'. I gave it a purpose. Veni vidi vici. - me, if I were ever interviewed about this.

Basically, if the first day of summer were a risotto dish, it would be today's pick. This refreshing, sunbathing goddess.

I not only strongly recommend making veggie risottos at all time, but the lemon zest? A MUST. I felt foolish I had never added this darling ingredient in my rice bowls and pasta dishes before. Absolutely life-changing freshness-wise. The brilliant addition was suggested by this blog right here, to which I owe this summertime explosion in my kitchen.

A note before we start: I do need to warn you, that if you do not have Chardonnay on hand and choose to add more chicken broth (which is typically recommended as replacement), I would opt for a low-sodium option. Our risotto, although fresh and summery tasting, ended up too salty after a few spoonfuls. I cannot stress this enough: low in sodium for the win! OK proceed.

You will need,

Chicken broth (6 cups- I cannot stress this enough, low in sodium)

Yellow onion (1, finely chopped)

Salt and black pepper for taste

Olive oil (at least 1/4 cup in total)

White wine (optional, I would go for 1/2 of Chardonnay but I was out and used chicken broth instead)

Parmesan (1 cup)

Lemon zest (1 full lemon, grated)

Lemon juice (1 tbsp)

For toppings: fresh chives or finely sliced scallions, a dash of pepper flakes or ever-so-thinly sliced Lebanese cucumbers

A few simple steps,

1.First, in a medium pot, you want to bring all 6 cups (or 6 1/2 if you do not plan on using the wine) of the chicken broth to a simmer and then reduce the heat. Let gently simmer on low while you prepare your dish and collect cups as you go.

2. Meanwhile, start cooking your onions over medium heat in a large skillet, using 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper, stirring for 7-8 minutes until golden.

3. Add the rice and cook for about 2 minutes, until toasted.

4. Add the wine (or 1/2 cup of chicken broth) and stir until evaporated (less than 5 minutes).

5. Add 1 cup of simmering broth and stir constantly until absorbed. Repeat this step until the rice is cooked. It will take between 20 and 30 minutes for al dente, depending on how hot your broth is.

6. Once al dente, remove from heat and stir in the cheese and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper for taste and serve, topped with lemon zest and greens of your choice. I would also recommend arugula with a drizzle of oil!