Meyer Lemon and Leek Risotto…

Part two of our Meyer lemon exploration continues with risotto. You may think that citrus doesn’t belong in a savory dinner dish. However, at many places you find risotto at, I can almost guarantee they add a bit of lemon confit, lemon zest, wine with citrus notes, or even lemon juice to add a gentle addition of flavor. This is mainly for risottos without meats, although some still feature citrus like those with chicken or fish.

This recipe does use zest, but I also recommend saving the rest of the zest from all your lemons and freezing it. Add it as a touch to blueberry scones, pancakes, cake glazes, etc.

I used a Gewurtztraminer to cook with the risotto for its citrus and spicy notes. Fetzer is a good one, and priced right for cooking and drinking.

Leeks are part of the onion family so they go well with rice.  However, they’re not quite as strong as onions, so they’re perfect for a mild flavored dish.

Top if off with some Parmesan or Grana Padano and you’ve got a delicious dinner to go with a nicely chilled white wine.

Meyer Lemon and Leek Risotto

6 c water with 1 T salt
3 T olive oil
1 T butter
1 leek stalk, sliced into coins or half-coins
2 c arborio rice
1 c wine
1 T lemon zest
3 T lemon juice
1 T fresh oregano
1/4 t pepper (or more to taste)
salt to taste
grated Parmesan or Grana Padano

In a saucepan, warm the salted water.

In a saute pan or skillet, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the leek and cook 5 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat. Cook for another 5 minutes until slightly browned. Add the wine and stir well, deglazing the pan if necessary. Lower heat to medium-low. Begin adding water 1/2 cup at a time and stir well.  Add the next batch when water is almost all absorbed.

Once all the water’s gone, add zest, juice, pepper, oregano, and salt. Taste for seasoning and turn off heat, but leave it on for a minute since you just added more liquid.

Top with grated cheese and enjoy.

*next up…Beet Poppy Seed Bread…*

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