Perserved Lemon & Saffron Risotto
Making risotto is just a comforting thing to do.
Something about all the stirring and tending to the mixture by adding the wine and broth a bit at a time, stirring all the while. This was a perfect rainy Friday night dinner "in" with a grilled steak recently. I froze the leftovers (in a flat ziploc freezer bag) so that I can have a quick side dish some other night. Feeling a bit happy to know it's in there waiting for me.
I made preserved lemons about a month or so ago, so lately, I've been looking for ways to use them in lots of recipes because they taste so good. I've been told you can also buy them at a gourmet grocery store, but I have never seen them there. My recipe for preserved lemons is here, if you want to give them a try.
I used a recipe for the risotto from Sunset Oct 2011 Original recipe was in Sunset magazine, My only changes to the original were not adding any extra salt, but adding the salty preserved lemons instead.
Ingredients8 cups broth (Vegetable or chicken) 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads3 Tbsp butter 1 cup finely chopped onion 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme leaves2 cups Arborio rice1/2 cup dry white wine 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese2 Tbsp sour cream2 Tbsp finely chopped chives, plus more for garnish1 Tbsp finely chopped preserved lemon, store-bought or homemadeFresh pepper, salt if needed
Bring chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan, covered. Add saffron and reduce to a bare simmer, covered.
Melt butter over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed 8-qt. pot. Add onion; cook until translucent and turning golden, 10 minutes. Stir in thyme, chives and preserved lemon. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, until edges of grains look translucent, about 2 minutes.
Add wine to rice and cook, stirring, until wine is completely absorbed. Add about 1 cup hot broth and simmer, stirring, until absorbed; reduce heat to medium-low if mixture starts to boil. Keep adding broth, a ladleful at a time, stirring until each addition is absorbed before adding the next, until rice is just tender to the bite and still slightly soupy, 15 to 30 minutes. You may have broth left over.
Remove rice from heat and stir in cheese, sour cream, pepper. Scatter more chives on top.
Great on it's own, but would also be wonderful as a side dish to grilled scallops, fish, steak or chicken.
Note: Adding the cheese and sour cream "tightens" or thickens it up, so I'd suggest that you error on too soupy, rather than not soupy enough.
Here's a photo proving I cook with wine... sometimes I even put in it in the dish!