Making Lemon Risotto this way is for week nights – when you want a beautiful result but might also have the homework to check, the washing to fold or a phone call to your mum to finish. It is zingy enough to eat by itself, although a green salad and a glass of wine on the side would complete the experience!
1 leek, finely sliced – optional
1 small bulb of fennel, finely sliced – optional
2 stalks of celery, finely sliced
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil or the fat from the top of home-made chicken stock
1 clove garlic, crushed
Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
2 cups Arborio rice
1 glass of white wine (whatever you are drinking)
1 Lavender’s Green Preserved Lemon, finely chopped flesh and skin (discard the pips)
1 Litre boiling chicken stock
1 large organic lemon, juice and zest
5 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, finely grated
Sweat the first seven ingredients over a gentle heat, in a covered saucepan, until soft but not coloured for about 10 minutes
Add the rice and the Preserved Lemon to the pot and stir for about two minutes to coat the rice with oil and make it look shiny.
Turn up the heat and add the glass of wine and the lemon juice and zest; keep stirring until it has bubbled away to a glossy syrup. Add all the boiling stock at once, turn the heat down really low and simmer, very gently for 12 minutes (I time this step). After 12 minutes the rice will be perfect – el dente, and still sloppy with stock.
Turn off the heat; add the grated parmesan, the butter and fresh herbs if you like and hold, covered for five minutes or so, or until you have rallied the troops, got the serving dishes organised and are ready to serve and eat!