Lemon and Parmesan Risotto








Its no secret that I love making risotto. They are quick to make and deliver on all flavor points. Of all the risotto dishes I make, this one must be my favorite. It is creamy and fresh. There is something about the combination of freshly grated lemon zest and Parmigiano-Reggiano that works. I am yet to serve this dish to a friend who didn’t love it.


(1) 1 Cup Arborio Rice

(2) 1 Medium Size Onion (Chopped)

(3) 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

(4) 1 Tablespoon Butter

(5) 1/2 Cup White Wine

(6) 1 Liter Broth (About 4 Cups)

(7) 1 Sprig of Thyme

(8) 1/4 Cup Freshly Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

(9) 1 Heap Teaspoon Lemon Zest

(10) Salt and Pepper to Taste



It is advisable to use a wooden spoon for risotto. It is also advisable to use a heavy bottomed pot. I make use of a dutch oven.

(1) Boil broth and keep it boiling on very low heat.

(2) Heat olive oil and add onion and thyme to heated oil. Saute for 3 minutes, till onion is soft. (the soffritto)

(3) Add rice to soffritto and cook for 4 minutes, stirring constantly so each grain of rice is coated with the oil. This process is called tostatura. Note: do not wash rice before using. The rice for risotto comes already cleaned.

Fry Rice

(4) After 4 minutes, add your white wine and cook till most of it evaporates. This takes about 2 minutes. Please do not be tempted to skip the wine. It adds a lot of flavor to the dish. The alcohol on the other hand evaporates when it is cooked.

(5) Now comes the interesting part. Reduce the heat to medium for the rest of the cooking process. Remember your broth has been boiling on low heat all this while. You add your broth one ladle at a time. Continue stirring after each addition till all the broth has been absorbed by the rice, then you add another ladle. This step is very important if you wanna achieve a creamy risotto. Do not be tempted to pour in all the broth and cover the pot. We are gonna get to the end one ladle at a time. The end does justify the means. The broth should last you through the whole process which should last about 30 minutes. You should have one ladle left at the end of the cooking process.








(7) After 30 minutes total time of cooking the rice, it should be creamy and al dente. Switch off the heat, add the last ladle of broth, the butter, lemon zest and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Stir this in and serve immediately.








Risotto solidifies when left at room temperature. So it is always advisable to serve immediately. Buno appetito!

Risotto 2







If you love risotto, you can also try my Butternut Squash Risotto.


Terry Adido is passionate about showing people how easy it is to recreate restaurant quality meals in the comfort of their kitchens. With a style of cooking he refers to as Afro-European Fusion, his meals are influenced greatly by French and Italian Cuisine with a West African twist. If you love good food, you are in for the ride of your life.

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2 comments on “Lemon and Parmesan Risotto
  1. Cindy says:


    I made this today and it tasted awesome. The lemon zest made a world of difference. It is a labor of love though, the addition of the chicken broth one ladle at a time was tiring but worth it. I did not have Parmesan cheese and substituted with cheddar.

    Thank you so much for sharing!

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