Two things I love dearly come together in perfect harmony in one dish to make this Meyer Lemon Risotto. Meyer lemons have a lovely herbal note to them, and are just a little less tart than regular lemons, adding a bit of depth and complexity to this dish!
I’ve long loved both lemon risotto and meyer lemons, but only recently had the stroke of genius to combine the two to make Meyer lemon ristotto. I love the way that lemons cut through the creaminess of the risotto and give it a bright acidic punch.
Risotto, as with the creamy polenta recipe I recently posted, has a bad reputation for requiring a lot of work. And here, unlike the with the polenta, there is some truth. Stirring the risotto relatively constantly helps release the starch from the grains of the rice, making it the creamy, luxurious dish that it is. The more you put in, the more you get out. But, that shouldn’t preclude you from making it, even if you can’t give it the constant stirring it deserves. Let good enough be good enough when you have to, and all will be well in the world.
This Meyer lemon risotto is best made with arborio or carnaroli rice. As medium grain rice, these two types are starchier than others, which is perfect for making the risotto creamy. For what it’s worth, it seems carnaroli has a clear edge here (according to professionals!), but can be hard to find. See above re: good enough and decide which rice grain works for you.
Without further ado, let’s make this delicious Meyer lemon risotto!
Simple, bright, and bursting with flavor, this Meyer lemon risotto pairs perfectly with a bright green salad or some lovely seared scallops (among other things!).
- 1 cup carnaroli or arborio rice
- 3 cups chicken stock (you might need to add a half cup water to stretch this out if your risotto is taking a while to cook)
- 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon zest (from about 1.5–2 lemons)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup shallot, finely minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Juice of 1 Meyer lemon
- 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Kosher salt to taste
- Heat the stock or broth in a small saucepan until lightly simmering and reduce heat until broth is barely simmering
- Heat butter over medium heat in a large heavy sauce pan. When melted, add the shallots and a pinch of kosher salt, and sweat until soft, about 4-5 minutes, but don’t let them brown
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Add the rice and toss to coat. Let rice cook for 2-3 minutes, but don’t let it brown, stirring constantly. Add another pinch of Kosher salt
- Add the white wine and simmer until wine has almost completely evaporated, about 3 minutes
- After the wine is evaporated add the broth to the rice in half cup increments, stirring frequently, waiting until each half cup of liquid is absorbed before adding more liquid
- After rice is firm but tender (about 20-25 minutes. You may not need all the broth, or you may need to add a bit of water if you find you don’t have enough), remove from heat and add the lemon juice, zest and mascarpone cheese, stirring to combine
- Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired. Top with Parmesan cheese if desired and serve immediately
If using regular (Eureka) lemons, you might want to use a bit less zest and juice, as they are more acidic. Start with half the amount and add more as needed.
Keywords: Risotto, meyer lemon, meyer lemon risotto