A Table in Venice: Lemon Risotto
A Table in Venice: Lemon Risotto
I am obsessed with Venice. I’ve always been drawn to life and customs in this maritime city and I can’t even tell you how often I’ve spent my days wandering through the maze of narrow alleys and over numerous bridges. There’s just something magical and truly charming about this city that is made up of more than 100 islands. Whenever I’m visiting and it’s time to pack up my things again, I am beyond sad. But now I’ve found a way to bring a piece of Venetian lifestyle back home with me: a cookbook.
Book review: A Table in Venice
And it’s not just any cookbook, it probably is the most outstanding collection of delicious Venetian recipes, delightful stories about life in the lagoon and beautiful photographs. I’m talking about “A Table in Venice: Recipes from My Home” by Skye McAlpine.
She’s lived in Venice from a very young age onwards and has never left. Furthermore, for her book, which was published in March of 2018, she did some extensive research in her kitchen and old Venetian cookbooks. And the result, you ask? Well, her recipes are simple and authentic and, therefore, her cookbook is remarkable. It’s an extraordinary collection of traditional recipes I will reach for often.
Just these past 2 weeks, we recreated quite a few dishes (such as “Roasted Celery with Cherry Tomatoes and Pancetta”, “Slow-cooked Peppers”, which we had with burrata, “Gnocchi with Crab and Baby Tomatoes) and, hence, I’m really excited to share one of our favourite recipe from the book: Skye’s Lemon Risotto*.
A Table in Venice
Venice has long lured tourists to its many canals. Now you can take a piece of La Serenissima back home with you in form of a superb cookbook by Skye McAlpine.
Recipe Difficulty Level: Easy
Recipe Type: Lunch, Dinner
|Prep Time||25 mins|
|Cooking Time||25 mins|
The quality of rice is essential in this recipe. Make sure you use the best you can find. We prefer cooking with Carnaroli Rice because it contains lots of starch and cooks evenly. Another great option is Vialone Nano.
2tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
350g risotto rice*
100ml white wine
30g salted butter
30g Parmesan cheese, grated
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
*Skye’s recipe calls for Arborio Rice
For the stock:
an onion, cut into quarters
a carrot, cut into large chunks
a celery stalk, cut into large chunks
1.7 litres water
1 vegetable stock cube
How to make Skye McAlpine’s Lemon Risotto
- First of all, make the stock: Fill a saucepan with 1.7l water and throw in all veggies. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for about 15 minutes before you stir in the stock cube. Remove the cooked veggies from the soup.
- In a different saucepan, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat, then add the finely chopped onion and a pinch of salt. Cook the onion in the oil until soft and lightly coloured.
- Add the rice to the saucepan and stir so the rice mixes well with the oil. When the rice starts to stick to the bottom of your saucepan, pour in the white wine and stir until it has been completely absorbed.
- Next, start adding the simmering stock, one ladleful at a time, to the rice and continue stirring until the mixture gets dry.
- As soon as the liquid has been absorbed, add another ladleful of broth to the rice and don’t forget to stir and stir and stir.
- Repeat step 4 for about 15 to 20 minutes until the rice is creamy but still al dente. This process may take longer depending on the saucepan you use and on your oven and, also, you might not need all the veggie stock.
- Then, add the zest and the juice of 1 lemon and stir for a few more minutes in order to fully bring out the flavours.
- Finally, remove the saucepan from the heat and let the lemon risotto rest for a bit before you stir in the butter. When the butter has completely dissolved, add the Parmesan cheese and stir again. This will make your risotto even more creamy.
- Try the risotto and season it with salt and pepper to taste. Once happy with the result, sprinkle some more lemon zest over each portion and serve immediately.
See you very soon, Venice!
*Ingredients and recipe taken from A Table in Venice: Recipes from My Home by Skye McAlpine, p. 131. This recipe was published with the full permission of the author.