I’m making this risotto today out of necessity, I am battling some fairly strong negative feelings this afternoon and luckily for me risotto is a very successful soother of the soul when both preparing and eating it. Emotional pain is a solid wall to slam into when momentum is high and the stages you will pass through are well-defined; there is shock to be felt, catharsis, and the odd period after that when your brain fumbles blindly for coherent thoughts and your old emotional self. Bear with me, for my point is that during the final stage of pain it is entirely acceptable, in fact encouraged, that you make some of this lemon risotto. I can speak from experience when I say the soft buttery smells and repetitious movement over a steady source of heat is a perfect antidote to the deepest of disappointments. After you’re done cooking it you can eat it on the couch while watching some Arrested Development, a formula that is almost fail proof for fighting the blues.
best ever lemon risotto:
1 1/2 cups of Arborio rice
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced finely
3 shallots, diced finely
1 cup of any dry white wine
1 litre of vegetable stock, kept simmering on the stove
1 lemon, zested and juiced
4 Tbsp. whipping cream
1/2 cup of finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 egg yolk
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
1. Whisk together the salt and pepper, lemon juice and zest, cream, egg yolk, and the cheese. Set aside.
2. Melt the butter and oil together in a large pot over medium heat; sauté the shallots and garlic until soft and transparent.
3. Add the rice and wine, stirring constantly until all of the wine has been absorbed. Working ladleful by ladleful gradually add the entire pot of warmed stock to the rice, stirring the entire time to prevent sticking.
4. Once all of the stock has been absorbed take the pot off of the heat and stir in the cream mixture. Serve immediately with extra cheese and pepper sprinkled on top.
If you want a really good song to listen to while you’re sad and stirring then look no further than Beck’s album Sea Change. Most of this album is perfectly suited to a morose mood, but this song in particular brings on the real theatrics of a terrible day.
Beck – Lonesome Tears