Artichoke & Lemon Risotto
This is a restaurant-quality flavor combination: artichoke hearts & lemon. To make this significantly easier on you, look for frozen artichoke hearts or jarred ones (I found a very approachably-priced brand: Cucina & Amore in my grocery store). And it involves wine! Yay! And no cream! Yay!
Artichoke & Lemon Risotto
Servings: 6 as a side and 4 as main course
14 oz. can, rinsed and completely drained, or 2 9 oz. boxes of frozen artichokes, completely defrosted and drained
4 cups chicken/vegetable broth
2 cups water
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 shallots, finely minced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, separated into 1 tbsp each
2 cups Arborio rice
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
(optional, up to 2 tablespoons of lemon juice)
Note: If you prefer to use fresh artichokes, trim 6 large artichokes down to their hearts. Simmer in broth or water until very tender. Drain, let cool, and cut into very thin slices and divide into 2 portions. Begin the risotto recipe at step 2.
If using frozen, let them thaw before cooking.
Bring stock and water to a simmer. Dice the shallots; zest a lemon. Full tutorial on zesting here: How to Zest
If using frozen, canned, or jarred artichoke hearts, dry them thoroughly. Slice them into quarters if they aren’t already.
In a large saucepan (a pot), melt butter and oil together and simmer the diced shallots for a few minutes over medium heat, until soft. For a vegan option, just replace the butter with more oil.
Add only half of the artichoke hearts and cook them in the shallots for a minute. Add minced garlic and cook together for 30 seconds.
Add the rice and cook, stirring, until coated with the oil and butter and begins to become slightly opaque, about 2 or 3 minutes.
Add the wine, and stir constantly, until completely absorbed. Begin to add the hot chicken stock and water, a cup at a time, stirring continuously in between additions, until the rice becomes tender to the bite. Depending on how high your heat, this can take about 15 to 20 minutes with continuous stirring. You may not need all of the stock and water. If after using all the liquid the rice still needs more, add water only, a cup at a time.
So as long as the liquid pools out from the rice, I know it hasn’t fully evaporated. It’s when I see it streaking in the pan that I know it’s time to add another cup.
[Video note: Also, when you cook make this, don’t use a shallow pan like I’m doing. You want to use a saucepan which would have a smaller surface area but taller sides. Then you can really stir it properly. Part of what makes risotto creamy without the cream is the starch that’s released from the grain as it’s stirred. So you do want a vigourous, circular stir to create the friction that releases the starch. And I just can’t get that in the shallow pan. But it makes filming so much easier...which is why I use it even when I know better.]
Add the remaining sliced artichoke hearts, the lemon zest, and remaining tablespoon of butter (vegan: add oil as needed or skip this). Stir until the artichoke slices become completely mixed with the rice and the butter melts.
I also added a healthy squeeze of lemon juice and it really picked up the whole dish. I’d say you could add 1 if not 2 tabelspoons of lemon juice to an entire recipe. And the final piece is the cheese - you can also add it with the final butter so it melts into the risotto. But nonetheless, serve immediately and enjoy! (vegan: add salt to taste, or more lemon zest)