By: Lisa Dixon, RD, MBA
Just the word risotto frightens many cooks (professional chefs, included! Just ask Gordon Ramsey!). Here is an easy, yet delicious risotto recipe that will impress everyone at your dinner table.
Serves 4 - 6
• 8 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1 large leek, sliced
• 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice, such as Carnaroli
• ½ cup white wine
• 1 cup + ½ cup frozen peas
• ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
• Zest of one lemon
• 2 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon, divided
• Sea salt and pepper, to taste
• Bring broth to a simmer in a small saucepan.
• Cook leek in the olive oil in a large, shallow pan over medium-low heat, stirring, until tender.
• Add rice, stirring to coat.
• Add wine and stir until wine is completely absorbed.
• Add 1/4 cup hot broth mixture and simmer briskly, stirring constantly, until broth is absorbed. Continue simmering and adding hot broth mixture, about 1/4 cup at a time, stirring frequently and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until rice is just tender and creamy-looking but still al dente, 18 to 22 minutes.
• Add 1 cup peas and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes.
• You should have about ½ cup or so of broth still left in the pan. While the rice is finishing, add the remaining ½ cup peas and 1 teaspoon tarragon to the broth.
• Puree until smooth. Taste for seasoning, adjust if necessary.
• Into the risotto mixture, stir in cheese, lemon zest, remaining tarragon and sea salt and pepper, if needed.
The risotto should be a little loose. If it’s too stiff, add a little more broth and continue to stir. There should be a little “gravy” surrounding the grains of rice.
• Place about 1 cup of risotto in the middle of a warm large, shallow bowl. Pour the pea puree around the edge of the risotto.
To make perfect scallops...
• Choose “dry,” untreated scallops (ask your local fish guy or gal, if you’re not sure what this means).
• Dry the scallops very well with a paper towel and season with sea salt, pepper and lemon zest.
• Add 1 tablespoon or so of olive oil and/or butter to a hot pan and cook, about 2 – 4 minutes per side, depending upon the size of the scallop.
Don’t turn the scallop too soon. If it is sticking to the pan, leave it alone. It will tell you when it’s done by pulling easily off of the pan without sticking.
Lisa Dixon is a Registered Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in the way people think about food and the way they nourish their life. Visit her website at NourishRDs.com.