Years ago, I came across a Lemon Basil Shrimp Risotto recipe from the Pioneer Woman, and I was eager to try it because I absolutely love most anything with lemon!
However, I realized a few things right off hand that I’d need to adjust:
- I’m allergic to shellfish (yikes!)
- I’m not a huge fan of basil.
The bones of this recipe are great, but over the years, I’ve tweaked the flavor profile a bit to my own liking, and now, I love it! That’s what I like about cooking, is that even when using a recipe, you can tweak things and put your own spin on it.
Without further ado, I give you my variation of Lemon Risotto:
- 2 Cups Arborio Rice
- 5 Cups Chicken Broth
- 1 Cup White Wine (*Suggestion: Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio; can use 1 cup chicken broth in place of wine)
- 1 Shallot, Minced
- 2-3 Garlic Cloves, Finely Minced
- 2 Lemons
- Dried Thyme
- Salt & Pepper to Taste
- Butter or oil
- 2-3 Chicken Breasts (optional)
Heat the chicken broth on the stovetop in a small pot and leave it on low (you will use this as you go).
Sauté the shallot and garlic in a large pan with butter (or oil) until the shallot is translucent. Add the rice to the pan with the shallot and garlic, and toast it in the pan for a couple of minutes. Turn the heat to low, and add the cup of wine (or 1 extra cup of broth) and let it cook until that’s absorbed. Add one cup of broth to rice and let it cook, stirring until absorbed.
Continue to add broth in 1 cup increments, stirring and letting the broth be absorbed each time until the rice is cooked through. **This is a low and slow process**
Zest the lemons and add the zest and juice of the lemons, as well as a few sprinkles of dried thyme to the risotto.
Serve immediately with grilled chicken, or another protein, like shrimp or salmon.
As usual, it wouldn’t be a true “recipe” of mine without a few notes:
- Risotto can be really high-maintenance. When I say you have to cook this on low and babysit it – I mean, you need to park yourself right by the stove and be prepared to get a good arm workout.
- The thyme is optional, but it has a great pairing with lemon, so I really love it in here,
- I’ve made it lately with my favorite wine from Trader Joe’s: Espiral Vinho Verde, which is the perfect light and crisp wine for this recipe. Plus, I don’t mind enjoying a glass while I cook!
- I love to cook this in our Made In 3.5 Qt. Stainless Clad Saute Pan
If you try my version of this recipe, I’d love to hear what you think!