I was looking for a quick and easy recipe to complement all the spring goodies that are on their way and I’m pretty sure I stumbled upon it: lemon risotto. Lemon pairs well with spring veggies such as asparagus, peas, and ramps. It will also pair well with summer-time grilled fish! While I’m sure that I’ll try out quite a few of the tasty recipes I found, the smallest recipe was perfectly sized for a date night in with my beau! Giada’s presentation is lovely as an appetizer for a small dinner party (although you’d probably have to be a chef to pull if off unless you baked the risotto like Ina Garten) but I decided to use the risotto as a base for some wonderfully fresh spring goodies.
I have to admit that I made plenty of changes: a splash more wine, a home-made pork stock that had congealed in the fridge (the best stuff!) and substituting ricotta for mascarpone plus I somehow forgot the parm at the last minute! Oh, and I used the whole lemon. That may be why my beau commented on there being too much lemon… It was extra lemon-y and I do have to admit that I’m disappointed in how much it overtook the potential pork flavor but I liked how it paired with the asparagus. I’m curious if I could get away with water instead of stock next time to save a few pennies. I’ll probably just use a home-made veggie stock for the next one to keep a nice depth of flavor. After all, I’m halfway there with all the fresh veggies I’ve been using this spring!
All that being said, I’ll use lemon risotto as a base for other flavors. As I said above, its a great idea to fill out a spring time meal loaded with tons of veggies or an easy side-dish to pair with fish for summer time hosting. Chances are that I’ll try out several more recipes and up-date as I find my favorite!
- To roast the asparagus like I did, trim off 2 inches from the bottom, coat in olive oil and a light sprinkling of salt and pepper then place in a 350F oven for about half an hour (just as long as my rice was in my pot) until a fork goes through them easily.
- Learn more about asparagus and why they have a high cost per pound here.
- Other variations on lemon risotto:
- Nigella Lawson‘s looks especially luscious with the additions of cream and an egg yolk
- EpiCurious has a basic recipe meant to feed a crowd (too much for an intimate date night in!)
- Rachel Ray‘s is by far the most adventurous with fresh herbs and pine nuts!
- Bon Appetit serves up another large dish, augmented by Smitten Kitchen