Recipe: Celery and Meyer Lemon Risotto on a bed of Arugula

6 Feb

We first had a version of this risotto at Patina back with Eric Greenspan was chef and fell in love.  It was one of those dishes that changes the way you think about food – a flavor and texture combination that was unlike anything we had ever had.  I’ve tried to recreate the recipe a few times over the years and haven’t really ever come close to the original magic (is there a secret ingredient?).  This risotto is great nonetheless.  The citrus and celery cut the richness of the risotto while adding great texture.  Making risotto intimidated me for years – all that stirring? rice?  I still hate making rice, but have learned that risotto is hard to mess up and can be made in infinite variations with whatever ingredients are on hand.


  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 3 1/2 cups or so warm broth
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 baby shallot, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • zest and juice of 1 meyer lemon (a regular lemon would work too, just use half the juice)
  • lots of grated parmesan

Sautee the shallot and half the celery in a bit of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Once softened, add in the rice and stir and cook until the rice starts to get a little transparent around the edges.  Add in the white wine and stir continuously until the wine is absorbed.  Add the broth slowly, about half a cup at a time, allowing the rice to absorb the broth completely before adding more while stirring continuously all the time.  When you’ve added about half the broth, add the rest of the celery to the rice (by adding it in the beginning and in the middle you get greater depth of flavor and more interesting textures).  Keep stirring and adding broth until the rice is nicely cooked, though still al dente.  Stir in the lemon juice and zest and most of the grated cheese.  If you want a richer risotto you can also stir a T of butter or some marscapone cheese or heavy cream to finish.  Taste for salt and add pepper.  Serve on a bed of arugula with more cheese on top (the arugula will wilt nicely).  *The broth I used (Trader Joe’s low sodium vegetable broth) was very orange, making the risotto very orange.  Most risotto should be more white.


One Response to “Recipe: Celery and Meyer Lemon Risotto on a bed of Arugula”

  1. Brandi Kozlowski February 11, 2010 at 7:38 pm #

    Your meals have definitely been inspiring lately as far as dinner ideas go…. got all the stuff for this risotto and plan on making it soon, yum.

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