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Artichoke Risotto with Lemon & Parsley

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Serves six as a first course or a side dish.

I give the artichokes a head start here, braising them until tender before the rice is added. By the time the rice is cooked, the artichokes have all but melted.

  • 4 large artichoke bottoms, trimmed and halved, in lemon water
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 cups thinly sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only), rinsed well and drained
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • Sea salt or kosher salt
  • 5 to 6 cups homemade chicken broth (or equal parts low-salt canned broth and water); more as needed
  • 1-1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Thinly slice each artichoke half. Return the slices to the lemon water. Heat 2 Tbs. of the olive oil in a heavy, wide-based pot (like a Dutch oven) over medium-low heat. Add the leeks and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are soft, about 10 minutes. Drain the artichokes and add them to the pot; season with salt and stir to coat. Cover and cook until the artichokes are tender, about 15 minutes, checking to be sure they’re not burning (a little browning is good).

Meanwhile, put the broth in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Adjust the heat to keep the broth at a bare simmer.

Add the rice to the artichokes and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add enough broth to cover the rice and simmer gently, stirring often and adding more broth, 1/2 to 3/4 cup at a time, when the previous addition has been absorbed. (You may not need to use all the broth, or you may need a little more.) After 18 to 20 minutes, when the rice is just al dente, cover the pot and remove it from the heat. Let stand 3 minutes, uncover, and stir in the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil, the parsley, lemon zest, and several grinds of pepper. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more broth to loosen the risotto if you like. Divide among warm bowls and serve immediately.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on six servings; Calories (kcal): 340; Fat (g): 10; Fat Calories (kcal): 90; Saturated Fat (g): 2; Protein (g): 9; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7; Carbohydrates (g): 55; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 430; Cholesterol (mg): 0; Fiber (g): 7;

Photo: Scott Phillips

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