I’m kind of obsessed with the Meyer lemon. Living in Southern California, we are fortunate to have beautiful mature Meyer lemon trees growing right in our back yard. It flowers intermittently throughout the year, but the main season of production is in the spring. The lemon is a medium sized, round fruit that has a gorgeous golden yellow color. The edible skin is shiny, and smooth with small pores. The rind of the Meyer is thin, and the fruit very juicy, and less acidic than that of true lemons. I love incorporating Meyer lemons into my recipes and this is one of my favorites for a lighter, more refreshing take on risotto.

Ingredients

  • Sea salt
  • 6 cups filtered water
  • 3 tablespoon extrta-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Earth Balance
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1-2 Meyer lemons, enough for 1 tablespoon of zest, and 3 tablespoons of juice
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan or Vegan cheese

Preparation

  1. Pour 6 cups of water into a pot. Add 1 tablespoon Kosher salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and keep warm while you make the risotto.
  2. In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil and Earth Balance on medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add arborio rice. Stir to coat. Cook, stirring, 5-7 minutes, until the rice just barely begins to brown on some of the grains.
  4. Add the white wine. Stir frequently until the liquid has been completely absorbed by the rice.
  5. Reduce heat to medium low. Start adding the hot salted water to the rice, one ladleful at a time. After each addition, stir frequently until the rice has completely absorbed the liquid. Stir enough to keep the rice from sticking to the edge of the pan. Stirring continuously helps extract starch from the rice, to make a creamy sauce for the rice. You’ll end up adding a total of about 4 to 5 cups of water, depending on the rice you are using (older rice may need more water). Continue to add water and stir, until the rice is cooked through and just a tiny bit chewy. The whole process should take about 30 minutes or so… risotto is a labor of love!
  6. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, the lemon zest, chopped sage, and black pepper, reserving a little bit of lemon zest and sage for garnish.
  7. Top with lemon zest, fresh sage, toasted pine nuts and finely grated cheese.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!