I love my risotto, there are so many flavors that can be incorporated into it. Plus, you can serve it as a main dish, a side dish or as a dessert. Risottos have been changing the course of the culinary, that there is no limits as to what one can do.
I always tell my coworkers and students, that culinary is an art form and the use of imagination is what makes it so wonderful. I enjoyed serving this risotto with pan seared scallops, but it goes well with anything or by itself.
2 pints light chicken or vegetable stock, homemade if possible, or if not…. I use 2 broth cubes
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 branch celery, finely chopped
10 oz rice for risotto (arborio or carnaroli)
½ unwaxed, untreated lemon
5 or 6 fresh sage leaves or ½ tsp. dried sage
Leaves from a small sprig of fresh rosemary or ¼ tsp. dried rosemary
1 egg yolk
4 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan
4 tbsp. heavy or light cream
Freshly ground black pepper
Bring the stock to a boil and remove from heat. Some recipes say to leave it on a low simmer during the preparation of the risotto, but I never do.
Heat half of the butter and the tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet, pot or terra cotta risotto dish. Add the chopped shallots and celery – what the Italians call the soffritto - and gently cook for a few minutes until translucent and soft. Add the rice and stir to coat all of the rice well with the fat. Cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes until the rice is translucent. Pour a ladleful or two of the hot broth or stock over the rice, stir and allow to gently boil until the liquid is almost completely absorbed by the rice.
Continue to add the broth, ladleful by ladleful, or two at a time at the most, over the course of the cooking period, stirring constantly, allowing each addition of broth to be almost completely absorbed by the rice before adding more liquid.
Meanwhile, grate the zest from the half a lemon and mix it into the finely chopped fresh sage and rosemary or with the dried herbs. Mix this into the rice halfway (about 10 – 12 minutes) into the cooking.
Continue until the rice is meltingly tender to the bite and the risotto is thick and creamy. This should take more or less 20 minutes. Do not worry if you do not need all of the broth. Or if you do not have enough broth then simply add water at the end as needed.
Squeeze the juice from the half lemon. In a small bowl, combine and whisk together the egg yolk, the grated Parmesan, the cream, the lemon juice and a generous grinding of black pepper.
When the risotto is cooked and the rice is very tender, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the egg, cream and Parmesan mixture along with the remaining butter. Cover the pan and allow to rest off the heat for 2 minutes before giving the risotto an energetic stir until well combined. Serve at once.