Lemon and Chive Risotto with Chargrilled PrawnsRisotto is an oldie but a goodie. Yes, it does involve a lot of stirring, but when you make a good one you’ll enjoy the process.
It’s a great dish to make in the colder months too, and there are a lot of variations you can play around with. I find that lemon, chives and prawns are great summer ingredients and they give this dish a lightness that is perfect for the current warm weather.
The rice should be cooked through, but it does need to be al dente and the consistency creamy. You’ll need to keep an eye on the level of stock, and tasting the rice on occasion will also help if you are not a regular risotto maker.
I add the parmesan at the end to any risotto I make. You don’t need much, but the added sharpness does give it a big hit of flavour.
Risotto is always at its very best when it is eaten hot, as soon as it comes off the stove, and with this summery combination of flavours and the freshest of Aussie prawns I doubt there’ll be a grain of rice left in the bowl.
Ingredients (Serves 4 people)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped 25g unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 cups arborio rice
1.5 litres vegetable stock, heated
4 tbsp fresh chives, finely chopped
4 tbsp good quality parmesan, grated
Zest and juice of two lemons
1 cup dry white wine
650g raw green prawns, shelled and deveined
1. In a heavy-based pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and butter. Stir in the onion and sauté for approximately 2 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a minute ensuring it doesn’t burn;
2. Add the rice and stir until combined, coating with the oil for 1 minute. Pour in the white wine and deglaze the pan then stir for a further minute;
3. Heat the stock in a separate saucepan and pour onto the rice 1 cup at a time, stirring frequently but gently. Continue this process as the rice absorbs the liquid. Ensure the stock remains hot and add in batches until the rice is tender and slightly al dente, approximately 20-25 minutes. Don’t allow the rice to cook without any liquid in the pot as it will stick to the bottom and may become gluggy;
4. In a separate pan on high heat (when the rice has only a few minutes left to cook), add a tablespoon of olive oil then cook the prawns for 1-2 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Set aside and keep warm;
5. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest and chives to the risotto (reserving 1 tablespoon of chives for garnish) and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine and remove from the heat;
6. Divide amongst bowls, sprinkle over the grated parmesan and remaining fresh chives, and top with the grilled prawns.
Dana Sims is a Sydney-based food and prop stylist who has grown up in the Eastern Suburbs and loves to create delicious food for entertaining and family. She is inspired by the fresh produce we have access to here in Sydney. For ideas, recipes and styling inspiration, check out her Instagram, @stone_and_twine.