Lemon Risotto | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Lemon Risotto

Dinner Vegetarian

Lemon Risotto is a delicious meatless dinner option. With fresh rosemary, lots of Parmesan cheese, plus a bright punch of lemon, it’s a big bowl of carby goodness. Risotto is surprisingly easy to make and a pleasure to eat.

Lemon Risotto | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

It’s March already, and I’ve lost track of how many weekends in a row we’ve had a storm. We actually saw the sun for a couple of days last week, and it was such a tease. How’s the weather in your part of the world? Is it hopelessly depressing? Or should I be asking to come crash on your couch for a few days? I’ll bake you a cake in exchange for even a hint of warm weather.

I know we’re all supposed to be getting into hygge and all that jazz. Embracing the cozy comfort and togetherness. Going cross-country skiing or whatever it is rich Norwegians do. But I just want to get out of my house and go for a walk without the fear that I’ll get blown to some fantasy land. Actually, that might be pretty fun. Maybe I’ll go for a walk on Saturday and see if I end up in Oz.

Lemon Risotto | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Risotto is a great dish to make when it’s miserable outside. Suddenly standing at your stove stirring for 20 minutes seems like a welcome retreat. It’s also ideal for practicing a little kitchen witchcraft, if you’re into that. Stir your risotto clockwise, infusing it with love and joy for all who eat it. Or just space out and stop worrying about your to do list for a while.

This Lemon Risotto is bright and hearty. There’s a richness from a touch of cream and lot of grated Parmesan cheese. I also love the hint of earthiness from fresh rosemary. I used to think I didn’t like risotto because it always seems to contain mushrooms or asparagus or something any self-respecting picky eater would turn their nose up at. This Lemon Risotto is nothing but deliciousness.

Lemon Risotto | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

How to make Lemon Risotto

To make this risotto, you can blitz some shallot and celery in your food processor, then sautee your veggies with a little butter and oil in a big pot for a few minutes. Toss the rice in and stir it around to coat it in the oil. Then, stir in veggie stock a ladle at a time until it’s absorbed each time. Keep stirring and ladling for about 20 minutes until your rice is al dente. Stir in the rosemary and lemon zest. Finally, stir in a mixture of egg yolk, cream, parm and lemon juice. Risotto is best served straight away with a bit of extra cheese grated on top.

Lemon Risotto | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

If you’ve gotta be cooped up to avoid the storm, you might as well make the most of it. Make a big pot of Lemon Risotto. It’s gonna be awesome.

Lemon Risotto

Recipe by ReneeCourse: DinnerCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 2 shallots, peeled

  • 1 stick celery

  • 60 grams unsalted butter, divided

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 300 grams arborio rice

  • 1 liter vegetable stock

  • zest and juice of half a lemon

  • 2 small sprigs fresh rosemary, needles removed and finely chopped

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1/2 cup double or heavy cream

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Roughly chop your shallots and celery and add them to your food processor. Blitz them to tiny bitz. Alternately, you could finely chop both.
  • Add half the butter along with the olive oil to a large pot over medium low heat. Once the butter is melted, add your shallot and celery, and cook, stirring frequently for about five minutes to soften the veggies.
  • If you’re using canned or box stock, add it to a saucepan and bring it to a bare simmer. If you’re using a stock cube to which you’ll be adding boiling water, it will be hot enough.
  • Next, stir the rice in with the veggies so that each grain is coated in the butter and oil.
  • Add a ladleful of stock to the rice pot, and stir until the stock is absorbed. Keep adding the stock, one ladle at a time, and stirring until it’s absorbed before adding another. Continue this process for about 20 minutes. You want your rice al dente. You might not use all your stock. Conversely, you might need to add a bit of water. Taste as you go until it’s the way you like.
  • Next, stir in your lemon zest and chopped rosemary. Take the pot off the heat.
  • In a small bowl, add the egg yolk, lemon juice, parmesan cheese and cream. Whisk this together, then stir it into your risotto. Give it a taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve hot with an extra sprinkle of Parmesan.

Recipe adapted from Nigella Bites by Nigella Lawson.

Love risotto? Try this Bacon & Corn Risotto.

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