While the rest of the country is knee deep in snow, let's count our lemons. There's no mistaking the lemon as a harbinger of the spring season, with its citrusy pucker and sunny zest brightening any dish, especially when teamed up with fresh herbs, such as mint. This fresh yet comforting recipe nicely straddles the change of season. It provides the creamy warmth we crave on a chilly day, while the tangy citrus ripples and cuts through the risotto's inherent richness.
Lemon Mint Risotto
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano cheese
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves, plus extra for garnish
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest, plus extra for garnish
- Bring the stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan, then reduce the heat to low and keep warm.
- Heat 1 tablespoon butter and the oil in a deep skillet or pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened without coloring, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir until the grains are coated with the butter and turn opaque, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and stir until evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the stock 1 cup at a time, stirring until nearly all of the liquid is absorbed before adding the next cup, 20 to 25 minutes in all. At this point the risotto should be creamy but not soupy, and the grains should be tender but not mushy.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, the cheese, mint, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Divide between serving bowls and serve garnished with additional zest and mint.