Filed under: Food and Recipes, Main Dishes, Side Dishes | Tags: baked risotto, lemon risotto, risotto
I’ve been a fan of risotto for quite some time. But not since my first attempt at making it.
Once, when I first married, I tried to make a fancy meal for my husband for a date night in. I had recently watched an episode of Everyday Italian advertised as an episode about a date night dinner, and she had made a risotto that had asparagus and prosciutto in it. I had never made risotto before, so I figured what the heck, and set out for ingredients. Result: disaster. The rice was crunchy, the risotto became too thick and was a gummy mess, and it was overly salty with the prosciutto. Both me and my husband hated it. With that, I wrote off risotto.
Then, while visiting family, my sister-in-law had planned some risotto to go with the evening meal. She had a basic recipe, and she made it often. The result on second encounter: pure love.
So, using her same basic recipe, I’ve been making risotto ever since. However, it’s very labor intensive, difficult to make as a side dish because of the time needed to make it, and is laden with calorie rich butter and a heavy hand of parmesan. You can imagine my excitement when coming across this version. Baking the risotto instead of on stovetop makes the whole process so much easier and yields a perfectly cooked dish. By subtracting the butter and adding some lemon zest, this dish is just as luscious and creamy as the traditional method of cooking, but is much more figure friendly!
Baked Lemon Risotto
Slightly Modified from Weight Watchers Ultimate Classics Cookbook
3 WW points a serving
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
2 cans fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesean cheese
2 tsp grated lemon rind
1/2 tsp dried thyme
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1. Preheat your oven to 350. In a small dutch oven, heat olive oil. Add onion, saute until the onion is soft. Add the rice, and stir to coat with the olive oil. Cook for a couple minutes, stirring frequently, until the rice smells toasty.
2. Remove the dutch oven from the heat. Combine remaining ingredients with the rice in the dutch oven and stir to combine.
3. Place dutch oven in preheated oven, uncovered. Cook for 35 to 40 minutes, until rice is tender, liquid has mostly evaporated, and the dish is thickened. You’ll want to stir the dish about 20 minutes into cooking.
Serves 10 (serving size is about 1/2 cup)
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