About this recipe:Lemony, redolent with herbs, this risotto should be eaten as soon as it is cooked – if it is left to stand, the starch will begin to set, resulting in a heavy texture. Lemon zest and juice and fresh herbs stirred in at the end add a wonderful burst of flavour.
Heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and cook gently for 4–5 minutes or until softened, stirring from time to time.
Add the rice and cook for 1 minute, stirring to coat all the grains with the butter and oil. Stir in the wine and boil until it has almost all evaporated.
Stir the saffron into the hot stock. Add a ladleful of the stock to the pan and bubble gently until it has almost all been absorbed, stirring frequently. Continue adding the stock a ladleful at a time, letting each be almost all absorbed before adding the next, and stirring frequently. Total cooking time will be 15–20 minutes. The risotto is ready when the rice is tender but the grains are still whole and firm, and the overall texture is moist and creamy.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and juice, chives and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Using a vegetable peeler, take thin shavings from the Parmesan and scatter them over the risotto together with the chives. Serve immediately.
Some more ideas
Stir 100 g lightly cooked asparagus tips or thawed frozen peas into the risotto towards the end of cooking. * To make an artichoke risotto, omit the onion and cook the rice as in the main recipe, adding 2 tbsp lemon juice with the wine. A few minutes before the end of cooking, stir in 1 jar or can of artichoke hearts in water, about 340 g, drained. Add mint instead of parsley, and sprinkle with 30 g chopped walnuts instead of the Parmesan shavings.
Vitamin loss from rice is reduced when it is cooked by the absorption method, as in making a risotto – the vitamins remain in the liquid, which is then absorbed into the dish. * Parmesan cheese is a very hard cheese made from unpasteurised skimmed cow's milk. It has a high fat content but, as it also has a strong, full taste, only a small amount is needed to add lots of flavour.