Lemon and Saffron Risotto

Perfect risotto should flow gently when ladled into a serving dish. If prepared in advance, it will thicken as it sites, so just before serving, thin it with a little hot broth or water to produce a creamy consistency.


  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1/8 tso saffron threads

  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil

  • 2 shallots, finely chopped

  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice

  • 1/2 cup Dry White Wine

  • 3 Tbs unsalted butter

  • 1 Tbs lemon zest, plus more as needed.

  • 3 Tbs thinly sliced fresh chives

  • 1 cup (2 oz.) shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for garnish

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Lemon-flavored olive oil for garnish (optional)


  1. Pour chicken broth into a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. reduce heat to low, add saffron to the broth and cover.

  2. To prepare the risotto: Add oil to a large saucepan or Dutch oven. When oil is shimmering add shallots and cook. stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add rice and and sauté, stirring constantly, until rice is evenly coated with oil and translucent around the edges, about 2 minutes. Add wine and cook until wine is almost fully evaporated, about 2 more minutes.

  3. Using a ladle, add about 1 cup of hot vegetable broth to the rice. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until broth is almost fully absorbed. Continue adding broth, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly, and adding more broth only after the previous addition has been absorbed. The risotto is done after about 20 minutes of cooking, when it is creamy, and the grains are tender with a slight resistance to the bite. Remove from heat and stir in butter, lemon zest, juice, chives, and Parmesan. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

  4. To serve: Ladle risotto into 4 warmed, shallow serving bowls, Garnish each with additional cheese and drizzle with lemon oil, serve immediately.