Lemon Shrimp Risotto

Risotto is an Italian rice dish. It is made in an uncovered pan by briefly sautéing the rice in olive oil or butter, then adding a little bit of stock, stirring almost constantly until the rice absorbs the stock, then adding a bit more stock, stirring, adding, stirring, adding until it’s done. It usually takes between 20 and 30 minutes of stirring. Cooking the rice this way creates a rich and creamy sauce that is made from the starch and combines with the stock.

Risotto is best made with short- and medium-grain rice, which tends to be stickier than long-grain rice varieties. The rice which is best suited to making risotto is Arborio.  It produce the creamiest results. I used Jasmine rice because that is what I had in the house and it worked very well!

I made this Lemon Shrimp Risotto on Friday evening.  I was trying to make something that wouldn’t require a great deal of work or clean up and that was light (because I knew we’d be feasting over the holiday weekend).  I was certain that I’d like this recipe as I love risotto, shrimp and lemon!

I was surprised by how well received this Lemon Shrimp Risotto recipe was with my teen-aged boys, however.  I really thought that they would humor me by eating just a bit.  They scraped their dishes!

I’m sure this recipe would be fine if you used one pound of shrimp, but I used a full two pounds.  It was beautiful to look at and was very indulgent!  You can increase the spinach or replace the spinach with a box of frozen peas or some fresh asparagus.  Use your imagination and enjoy this recipe for Lemon Shrimp Risotto.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups broth – I use vegetable stock
  • 1 cups chopped spinach
  • 1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 T. sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 T. olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined – (I actually used 2 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 cup Arborio rice (I used Jasmine rice)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • Lemon zest (zest of one lemon)
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • Garnish with fresh basil
  • Serve with grated cheese, if desired

Directions

  • In a medium-sized stockpot over medium heat, bring the broth to a simmer and cover.
  • In a small bowl, toss the spinach, 1/4 cup lemon juice. Set aside.
  • In a heavy bottomed pan, heat 1 T. of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shrimp in a single layer and the salt, cooking until the shrimp are opaque, about 4 minutes, flipping them as needed. Set aside and cover until ready to use.
  • Heat the remaining 1 T. olive oil in the same pan over medium heat.  Add the minced garlic and chopped shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir constantly until the rice is evenly coated and sounds a bit crunchy in the pan, making snapping and popping noises, about 4 minutes. Add the wine, stirring constantly until all of the liquid is completely absorbed.
  • Ladle 3/4 cup of the simmering broth into the rice and cook, continuing to stir, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add the lemon juice to the stockpot.
  • Continue to add the broth in 3/4-cup increments, allowing the liquid to be absorbed before another addition, until the rice is translucent around the edges but still solid in the middle and the rice is of a creamy consistency, about 20 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and gently stir in the shrimp and spinach. Add lemon zest and black pepper.  Garnish with basil and grated cheese (if desired).  Serve immediately.
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