Monday, April 29, 2013

Lemon Risotto & Limoncello

There may be nothing better than Spring in the South! Being a newly transplanted Midwesterner to the South..... "Spring" is a foreign word. Temperatures are mild, the smell of Dogwood and Cherry Blossoms trees fill the air with their sweet, pungent aromas. Trees and mosses burst with a green hue that almost hurts my eyes. The rain falls delicately down while the birds sing in harmony..........and then I discovered THE WORST ALLERGY SEASON OF MY LIFE! The itch in the throat, the nasal drip, the coughing, sneezing, eye watering blindness, the pollen so thick on my car I need to use my wipers at full speed to get it off. My god make it STOP!!!

Yes, Spring in the South is something you need to see to believe, but only while consuming heavy doses of Allegra or Zyrtec or Claritin...preferably all at once.  So today I needed a little "midwest" comfort. I pretended it was Spring in Chicago and closed my windows (put the air on to pretend it was cold) and made a soothing Lemon Risotto for din din. I love risotto all different ways, but Deb Perelman over there at Smitten Kitchen makes it the best! If you have not checked out her food blog you MUST!

It is super simple. In fact I made it....well, I'll be honest I shouted the steps on how to make it to my very nice husband who also took some REALLY beautiful shots.....don't you think? The crabby baby needed holding and my other hand was completely full with a glass of wine tap water. 
Large bowl of lemons are ingredients to prepare Lemon Risotto
This recipie combines the simple loves of my life... shallots, basil, really good cheese, wine and lemons of course!
Bowl of Basil is ingredient in Lemon Risotto

Delicious bowl of homeade Lemon Risotto with basil prepared by Tulips Apothecary
Lemon Risotto (from smitten kitchen)
Adapted from Bon Appetit, May 2002
Makes 6 first-course or 4 main-course servings(we had many servings!)
6 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
3 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large shallots, chopped
2 cups arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine (this was the nice tap water I had)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
2 tablespoons
chopped fresh parsley we stuck with basil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (2 lemons)
4 teaspoons grated lemon peel(about 3)

Bring broth to simmer in large saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low; cover to keep warm. Melt 1 1/2 tablespoons butter with oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and saute until tender, about 6 minutes. Add rice; stir 1 minute. Add wine and stir until evaporated, about 30 seconds. Add 1 1/2 cups hot broth; simmer until absorbed, stirring frequently. Add remaining broth 1/2 cup at a time, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more and stirring frequently until rice is creamy and tender, about 35 minutes. Stir in cheese and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in basil, lemon juice, and lemon peel. Season risotto with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl and serve.

Of course if this recipe does not work than just slather on our Limoncello Pucker Pot, but try not to eat it!

Love and Tulips,

Nicole from Alpharetta