Facing an empty fridge upon our return home from vacation, I was in need of groceries and inspiration this past weekend. I happened to catch a mention on Twitter of food52’s risotto party and was inspired to make a spring risotto. I knew I wanted to include lemon and mint, and had been intrigued by a raw artichoke and parmesan salad I’d read about in the April issue of Body + Soul . And I decided to add citrusy broiled shrimp, as in the food52 finalist’s recipe . There are few things more soothing than the fresh scent of mint and lemon zest, and this creamy risotto is a perfect supper to usher in spring.
Recipe: Lemon Artichoke Risotto with Shrimp
for the risotto
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped (1 teaspoon reserved for shrimp)
zest and juice of 1 lemon (1 tablespoon zest reserved for shrimp)
2 cups organic Arborio rice
4 cups seafood stock
2 cups water
1/2 cup fruity white wine
1 6-ounce jar water-packed artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
for the shrimp
1 pound wild U.S. shrimp, peeled and deveined
reserved garlic and lemon zest from above
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and pepper
Gently toss the shrimp with chopped garlic, lemon zest, olive oil, and a generous amount of sea salt and pepper. Let marinate at room temperature while preparing the risotto.
Bring seafood stock and water to simmer in a stock pot.
In a dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium low heat and cook garlic several minutes, until translucent. Increase heat to medium and add rice, stirring to coat with oil, and cook 4-5 minutes. Rice will turn translucent and begin to appear lightly toasted. Add lemon zest and juice. Pour in wine and cook 1 minute.
Begin ladling the stock, two ladles full at a time, into the risotto. Stir frequently after each addition until most of the liquid is absorbed, then add the next batch. The process of adding, stirring and absorbing liquid will take about 20-25 minutes. The rice will release its starch, resulting in a creamy white sauce. Taste periodically until the rice is al dente — still firm but no longer crunchy in the middle. When the desired texture is reached, gently fold in artichoke hearts, mint and parmesan cheese and remove from heat.
Under a broiler, cook shrimp about 2 minutes on each side, until pink and opaque. Serve atop risotto, and garnish with additional fresh mint and/or shaved parmesan. Makes 4-6 servings. Enjoy!
Note: You can replace the seafood stock with vegetable and omit the shrimp to serve the risotto alone for a vegetarian or Meatless Monday-friendly supper.