Daring Cooks: Lemon Risotto

Lemon risotto is a very easy Italian rice dish, and this one pairs tangy lemon with fresh mint.

Lemon Risotto by FamilySpice.com

My family and I love all types of foods. I’ve always enjoyed cooking, and my husband and kids are used to seeing new things on the dinner table. Of course, they don’t always eat what I serve them, even if they are delicious. Despite these setbacks and disappointments, I keep moving forward (Remember, “Meet the Robinson’s?”). The 2010 March Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Eleanor of MelbournefoodGeek and Jess of Jessthebaker. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make Risotto. The various components of their challenge recipe are based on input from the Australian Masterchef cookbook and the cookbook Moorish by Greg Malouf. I’ve only had Risotto once, loved it yet never made it at home. How could I pass this up?

How to Make Homemade Chicken Broth by FamilySpice.com

Part of the challenge was to make your own chicken stock. I’ve done this dozens of times and had homemade chicken stock in the freezer. One of my favorite meats that I serve my family is the fryer chicken. When on sale, you can get it for as lows as 50¢/lb. I always stock up and keep them in my freezer. But instead of making stock with the whole chicken, I usually roast it a number of different ways, and use the carcass to make the broth. The marrow and cartilage is the heart of a good chicken stock. To enhance the flavor more, I add whatever veggies and herbs I have at hand: carrots, onions, celery, cauliflower, parsley, cilantro, bay leaves, rosemary, garlic…. It’s easy to do, and helps you stretch your dollar and your $2 bird to a new meal.

For my homemade chicken broth recipe, click here.

Lemon Risotto by FamilySpice.com

From what I’ve learned about Risotto, you start with the base. First you sauté your onions and garlic in a little olive oil, then you add the Arborio rice and toast it up. Next, add your white wine and mix it in until the wine has evaporated. I modified Rachel Ray’s recipe for Lemon Risotto. We are lemon fanatics and it matched up well with the left over chicken I was planning on serving for dinner. I added the chicken stock, about a cup at at a time, stirring occasionally, adding more stock as it gets absorbed by the rice. For one cup of rice, four cups of stock was used. Also added was lemon zest, juice of one lemon, 1/3 cup pecorino cheese, little butter, dash of sugar, and 2 TBS slivered mint leaves.

Lemon Risotto by FamilySpice.com

It was a little cheesy for my taste, which is why I reduced the amount from 1/2 cup to 1/3 cup, but the lemon and mint were a great flavor pairing with the the rest of the risotto. I was little nervous that my risotto would turn out to be a gluey mess, but it didn’t. It was creamy and smooth and rather delicious. I can’t wait to try some of the other great risotto combinations.

Lemon Risotto

Risotto is a very easy Italian rice dish, and this one pairs tangy lemon with fresh mint. Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray


  • 1 qt chicken broth
  • 2 cup water
  • 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1 lemon, grated zest, reserve rest of lemon
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 TBS butter, unsalted, cut into small pieces
  • 2 TBS mint, fresh, julienned
  • 1/3 cup pecorino cheese, grated
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, ground


  1. Combine and heat over the stove or in the microwave:
    • 1 qt chicken broth
    • 2 cup water
    • In a large skillet, over medium-high heat add:
    • 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  2. When oil is hot, but not smoking, add:
    • 1/3 cup onion , chopped
  3. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in:
    • 2 garlic cloves , minced
  5. Cook for 2 minutes, then add:
    • 1 cup arborio rice
    • 1 lemon , grated zest, reserve rest of lemon
  6. Heat the rice for 1 to 2 minutes, then add:
    • 1/2 cup white wine
  7. Cook until wine has evaporated.
  8. Add in the warmed stock, a few ladles at a time.
  9. Stir for a minute with each addition, to develop the starch and the creamy texture of the risotto.
  10. Total cooking time will be about 15-18 minutes. Keep adding stock each time the pan starts to become dry at the edges.
  11. While the rice cooks peel and remove the membranes from reserved lemon used for zest.
  12. Finely chop lemon segments.
  13. Sprinkle lemon pieces with:
    • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  14. When rice is cooked to al dente, stir in chopped lemon pieces and:
    • 2 TBS butter, unsalted , cut into small pieces
    • 2 TBS mint, fresh , julienned
    • 1/3 cup pecorino cheese , grated
  15. Season with:
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper, ground
  16. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately.

Prep Time:

Yield: Serves 4

Cook Time:

Lemon Risotto Detail

Lemon Risotto by FamilySpice.com

, , , , ,

One Response to Daring Cooks: Lemon Risotto

  1. Audax at #

    WOW it does looks delicious that is the stock and the risotto and great to hear that you liked it so much. Well done on this challenge. Nice photos also. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Leave a Reply