Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Lemon Risotto With Peas

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

4 to 4 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups uncooked arborio rice
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup white wine or additional reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

In a small saucepan, heat broth and keep warm. In a large nonstick skillet, saute shallots in butter for 2-3 minutes or until tender. Add the rice, thyme and pepper; cook and stir for 2-3 minutes. Stir in wine or additional broth and lemon juice. Cook and stir until all the liquid is absorbed.

Stir in heated broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly. Allow liquid to absorb fully between additions. Cook just until risotto is creamy and rice is almost tender. Total cooking time is about 20 minutes. Add the peas, Parmesan cheese and lemon peel; cook and stir until heated through. Serve immediately.

Tips and Tricks
I didn't have shallots, so I used chopped onion. This recipe is listed as a side, but I added finely chopped carrot to make it a little heartier and served it as a main dish. You could substitute vegetable broth to make it completely meatless. I used the lesser amount of broth listed, but it will depend on the heat of your stovetop and what kind of rice you use. I also omitted the grated lemon peel because I didn't have any. The texture of this dish makes is perfect to hide vegetables in for picky eaters. My son ate a healthy portion without realizing there were carrots. Also, this dish is best served as soon as it is ready, it does not sit well because it is starchy.
Make It Healthier
Use reduced-fat cheese. Use trans-fat free spread in place of butter.
How Kids Can Help
Measure the ingredients. Older kids can stir the rice.
See the suggestions in the recipe for Shrimp 'N' Spinach Risotto for tips on cooking risotto.

Nutrition Facts
1/2 cup equals 207 calories, 3 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 8 mg cholesterol, 440 mg sodium, 35 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 7 g protein
Diabetic Exchanges
2 starch, 1/2 fat

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