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Lemony Garden Vegetable Risotto

Lemony Garden Vegetable Risotto

Lemony Garden Vegetable Risotto is the perfect way to use up summer vegetables. MORE+LESS-


tablespoons roasted garlic and lemon compound butter (or regular butter), divided


medium yellow onion, finely chopped


cups chicken or vegetable stock


cup halved cherry tomatoes


cup freshly grated parmesan cheese


lemon, for 1 Tbs. zest and 2 Tbs. juice


tablespoon chopped chives, for garnish


pinches coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

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  • 1

    Melt 2 tbsp. of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the zucchini and sauté until you start to see color, 5 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Remove from pan and set aside.

  • 2

    To the pan, add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes, or until they soften and start to slightly brown. Add the rice and toss to coat with the onions. Toast the rice for 1 minute.

  • 3

    Add the wine and let it burn off, 30 seconds. In the meantime, have your 4 cups of stock on a low simmer. Ladle in 1/2 cup at a time, letting the rice slowly absorb the liquid. Continue to ladle the broth into the risotto on a medium simmer until the rice has become creamy and al dente. This will take close to 30 minutes.

  • 4

    Add the lemon zest, juice, the zucchini, tomatoes, remaining 2 tbsp. butter, parmesan cheese and a big pinch of salt and pepper to the rice. Toss to combine. Taste and add more salt if needed.

  • 5

    Serve garnished with chives.

No nutrition information available for this recipe

More About This Recipe

  • It's summer and my garden continues to birth tomatoes and zucchini past the point of it being even remotely funny. So, with starch on the heart and lemon on the noggin, I just had had HAD to make risotto. And of course I needed to add roasted garlic lemon butter. It was divine and perfect and serendipitous and all things hyperbole mixed in this risotto.Prepare for love.Grab some arborio rice, stock, an onion, some white wine, zucchini, tomatoes, some of that insane butter (or regular!), cheese and chives. AND A LEMON.To serve I went with little ramekins because I'm pretty much a huge nerd, but you can serve it however ya fancy! Add some chives as garnish. Fresh lemony flavor, creamy rice, pops of garden produce. Yeah, that's really good.

Lemon Risotto

This is comfort food on so many levels. For one, risotto has to be one of the most comforting things to eat ever. What's more, although everyone goes on about the finicketiness and crucial fine-tuning involved, I find risotto immensely comforting to make: in times of strain, mindless repetitive activity - in this case, 20 minutes of stirring - can really help.

What you don't want to do is make risotto for large numbers of people, which is why I've indicated that this serves two.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

This is comfort food on so many levels. For one, risotto has to be one of the most comforting things to eat ever. What's more, although everyone goes on about the finicketiness and crucial fine-tuning involved, I find risotto immensely comforting to make: in times of strain, mindless repetitive activity - in this case, 20 minutes of stirring - can really help.

What you don't want to do is make risotto for large numbers of people, which is why I've indicated that this serves two.

Saffron Risotto with Lemony Braised Spring Vegetables (+ The Hard Choices We Make Around Health)

It’s become extremely apparent in the last six months that we live in a nation divided.

On one side of the aisle, there are the Paleo peeps, and on the other their Plant-Based brothers and sisters.

(Oh, did you think we were about to talk about politics? Well, only kinda sorta…)

These two groups truly are the Sharks and Jets of the food world. The only commonality in their belief systems is that blueberries are awesome, so long as they’re organic and not flown in from Chile. And each side is likely to point a You’re-Fake-News finger at the other when it comes to the rest.

I remain permanently, decisively on the fence.

Emotionally, I prefer to eat mostly plants. Physically, I have to admit that I feel pretty good when I cut out grains. Those two things may not seem mutually exclusive on the surface. But I’ve found it’s pretty hard to eat out in the world as a grain-free person if you’re not willing to put more meat on your plate.

My biggest issue with pushers of high protein, low carb diets is how extreme some of their arguments are.

Just this weekend I attended a talk with a functional medicine doctor. Her shtick (and they all have an unwavering one) is that we all need to be eating 100 grams of animal protein a day. That’s the equivalent of three 8-ounce chicken breasts. She had some interesting things to say, but I bristled when she went so far in her defense of this protein protocol as to call the sustainability and environmental issues with meat production a myth.

Eat what you want to eat. But that my friends, is not fake news.

I listened politely, and when the time came for the Q&A, I asked a question that was my biggest conundrum during Anti-Inflammatory month of The Wellness Project, and my more recent elimination diet:

If you’re eating more meat, and are not making your own meals 100 percent of the time, it inevitably means you’re going to be faced with the prospect of eating conventionally raised meat, which is packed with hormones that are problematic for thyroid health (and any endocrine condition).

So are we better off eating animals injected with hormones just to get our protein, or eating plants instead?

Her answer, if you can call it that, was “I would tell you to start prioritizing your health.”

She then recommended that I hire a private chef if I had to. (Which made me smirk.)

The exchange pretty much summed up every single reason I wrote The Wellness Project.

I wrote it because there are too many doctors who preach that there is no one-size-fits-all solution, yet one solution is all they preach. These Upper East Side practitioners can’t fathom that their solutions are not accessible or affordable for the majority of the population. And they make the rest of us feel crazy, guilty or ashamed when we voice the hard choices we make to fit health into real life.

My mission has always been to talk about them.

No matter how many people in the wellness space choose to broadcast their way of living in terms of right or wrong, very few of our health modalities and beliefs in practice are black and white wine or kale carbs or carne. For the average person, these choices are nuanced, and often times, yes, hard.

In order to make them easier, I say it’s important to tune out the noise and the fear, and try a few different diets on for size. Once you find your hard lines and your wiggle room, that’s when the questioning gets easier.

The sweet spot I’ve found between health and hedonism in this area is to eat my grains with plants, and plants with my meat. This way I always ensure my plate is 50 percent veg. It’s also how I manage to get my One Part Plant meal of the day in!

This Milanese-style saffron risotto recipe is one of my new obsessions, and was my attempt to make a plant-based version of one of my favorite grain-free dishes in the book: a turmeric-braised chicken. The vegetarian version here has similar hues, but uses saffron instead of turmeric.

Since saffron is on the more expensive side of the spice aisle, you can easily substitute 1 teaspoon of turmeric to get the same effect instead. It’s all about fitting this shit into your life, remember?

For the veggie topping, I used a variety of spring produce: carrots, radishes, leeks, golden beets. Feel free to switch it up with whatever looks good at the market. Asparagus, shallots, and fennel would all make excellent additions to the mix. The veggies get braised in lemon juice and white wine until their juices create a luscious bath for the risotto, but the flesh still has a nice bite.

What are some of your biggest hard choices around food and health in general? I would love you to share them in the comments section. Here’s hoping that this saffron risotto recipe with lemony braised spring vegetables can make some of them that much easier (and tastier).

And if you haven’t ordered The Wellness Project book yet to help you sort through the rest, I hope you will! There are only two weeks left until launch, and your pre-orders really help in getting the publisher’s sales team rallied around the book, which means it will get in the hands of more people, and that many more collective hard choices will get easier!

Vegetable Garden Risotto Recipe by The Hairy Bikers

For many people, including us, risotto is a go-to supper dish throughout the year. This Vegetable Garden Risotto, is perfect for the spring, when asparagus makes its first appearance, although it’s fine to use frozen peas and beans if you like. The cheese really lifts the flavour and the minted oil adds the finishing touch. If making this for two, just half the quantity of rice and liquid and add the amount of veg you want.


  • 250 g broad beans fresh
  • 50 g butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 4 sprigs thyme 3-4 thyme sprigs
  • 1 lemon zest long strip of lemon zest
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 150 g risotto rice
  • 150 ml dry white wine
  • 750 ml vegetable stock hot
  • 100 g runner beans Fresh cut into long thin strips
  • 100 g peas podded fresh or fresh peas
  • 1 bunch asparagus cut into short lengths
  • 100 g feta cheese drained and crumbled
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • Parmesan shavings to serve (optional)

Minted olive oil



Tried this recipe? Let us know how it was!

The Hairy Bikers are on their bikes again, continuing their culinary journey through time as they celebrate the best of British Classics.

With their irresistible enthusiasm, Si King and Dave Myers, have become national treasures. Big hearted, down-to-earth cooks with a love of good food, they have been cooking together for more than twenty years. They’ve written eleven books to date, including Perfect Pies, Big Book of Baking and Great Curries.

Their television back catalogue includes over 20 series’ including Mums Know Best, Bakeation, Meals on Wheels and most recently, Asian Adventures. In 2012, the boys shed more than six stone between them on Hairy Dieters: How to love food and lose weight. They have since published a second Hairy Dieters book, created a range of low-fat sauces (available in Asda and Ocado), and launched an online-subscription based weight-loss club, The Hairy Bikers’ Diet Club.

The Hairy Bikers’ British Classics by Si King and Dave Myers is published by Seven Dials and is available in hardback on 1 November 2018, priced at £22.

Recipe Summary

  • 6 cups vegetable stock, preferably homemade
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup Arborio or Carnaroli rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, stalks cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 cup thawed frozen peas
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Bring stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat in another saucepan. Cook onion, stirring frequently, until soft, 6 to 7 minutes. Add rice, cook, stirring, until edges are translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine cook, stirring, just until evaporated.

Add 1/2 cup hot stock cook, stirring, until almost absorbed. Continue adding 1/2 cup stock in this manner until liquid is creamy and rice is al dente, about 20 minutes total (you may not need to add all the stock). Add asparagus with the last addition of stock, and the peas about 1 minute before risotto is done.

Remove from heat stir in lemon zest and juice, parsley, cheese, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with additional cheese and lemon zest.

Watch the video: Ριζότο λαχανικών (January 2022).