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Meyer Lemon Risotto with Basil

If you can't find any Meyer lemons, use regular (Eureka) lemons.

slideshow Delicious, Quick Side Dishes

  • Servings: 6 first-course sevings

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  • 6 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tender inner celery rib, finely chopped, plus 1/4 cup chopped leaves
  • 1/2 Thai chile, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice (10 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup white vermouth
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated Meyer lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated Eureka lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Meyer lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Eureka lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons julienned basil leaves


  1. Bring the stock to a boil in a medium saucepan, cover and keep hot. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion, celery rib and chile, season with salt and pepper and cook over low heat, stirring, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the celery leaves and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the rice and cook, stirring until glossy, about 1 minute
  2. Add the vermouth to the rice and simmer over moderate heat until almost absorbed, about 3 minutes. Add the hot stock, 1 cup at a time, and cook, stirring constantly between additions, until most of the stock has been absorbed before adding more. The rice is done when it's tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes total. Stir in the 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, the mascarpone, the lemon zests and juices and the basil. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the risotto into bowls and serve, passing additional Parmesan at the table.

Suggested Pairing

Play off the tangy flavors in this risotto with a crisp, citrusy Italian white with enough body to stand up to the food's creaminess.

Contributed By Photo © John Kernick Published March 2002

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