This reader request in the October 2010 issue of Bon Appetit magazine was actually for a meal of lamb shanks and lemon risotto at Restaurant Saveur but I had just cooked a lamb dish last month and still had some leftovers frozen so I decided to just make the lemon risotto.
What can I say? I love, love, loved it! The fresh risotto flavor was great but it was the addition of roasted cherry tomatoes that made this dish shine. I literally struggled with putting it down testing it. You know…maybe I should just try one more bite to see if the seasoning needs to be corrected just a bit. It didn’t and I did…eat WAY too much during that process. Bad Barb!
Like a lot of other cooks, I avoided risotto for a long time as it carries what I think is an unwarranted label of being difficult. It’s anything but. What it does require is some attention; so it’s not a dish you can walk away from but in the course of preparing dinner; if you’re in the kitchen anyhow…I think it’s really easy and the warm, sustaining results are worthy of a few minutes of attention.
I had just picked up pint of the loveliest multi-color cherry tomatoes at Whole Foods. They are not a necessity to make this dish, but they certainly added a WOW! factor with their vibrant colors. I’ve made a couple of substitutions too. I hardly ever use arugula; seems difficult to find and so pricey…I often substitute fresh spinach and did the same here. I also decided to forgo using Italian parsley as called for; I didn’t have it and I didn’t miss it!