Italy and lemon risotto

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A couple of weeks ago I went to Italy for a week of relaxing and replenishing, followed by starting my next 4 month placement in hospital – paediatrics! Needless to say, life has been very busy what with new job, house hunting and travelling , which unfortunately has meant blogging has fallen by the wayside. But now things are a little more settled, I’m carving out the time for this. I’m in Boston for a few days with family, before heading to PaleoFX in Austin, which I’m massively looking forward to!

So back to Italy…my husband and I flew into Naples and then got a cab south to Massa lubrense. We stayed in an “Agriturismo” which is essentially a farm with accomodation. We stayed at Agriturismo La Lobra,ย  which was overflowing with organic lemon and olive trees, and they produced their own extra virgin olive oil, lemon olive oil and limoncello. Most evenings involved delicious food including vegetables from the garden drowning in olive oil. The day-times were spent lounging under the lemon trees reading books in the sunshine, with a day trip to Pompeii and along the Amalfi coast thrown in for good measure…what a gorgeous part of Italy!

When we arrived at the Agriturismo at about 8pm, we were welcomed to a lovely meal of antipasti, cheese and lemon risotto, which was creamy and rich but also fresh and zingy. My husband who normally isn’t a fan of risotto loved it and said it was the best he had ever had! I actually love rice dishes (must be the Asian in me!), but as I try to eat fairly low carb, rice remains an occasional special treat. We took back some of the amazing olive oil and a bunch of freshly picked lemons in the suitcase, so I decided to recreate a version at home.

My version replaces half the rice with cauliflower rice. (if you are keto/grain free you could use all cauliflower like in this recipe, however I wanted a more authentic risotto and white rice is one of the most innocuous grains out there). The best part is the drizzle of quality olive oil on top, so make sure you use the good stuff! Olive oil should ideally be cold pressed and come in dark glass jars, to protect the delicate fats from light.

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I love the bright yellow colours of this dish..a perfect spring meal!

INGREDIENTS
1 medium onion
2-3 cloves garlic
1 T butter or olive oil
1/2 cup risotto rice
1 small cauliflower
Organic Chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 unwaxed organic lemon – finely grate the zest and squeeze the juice
Salt to taste
Good quality extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

METHOD
1) Finely chop and onion and garlic and sautee until soft in the butter/oil
2) Make cauliflower rice by processing the cauliflower in a food processor until it looks like rice. Alternatively you can grate it but this is a little more labour intensive
3) Add the rice and lemon zest to the onions and stir untilย  the rice starts to get translucent
4) Add about 1 cup of stock, and stir regularly to prevent it catching at the bottom of the pan
4) When the rice has absorbed the stock, add the riced cauliflower and more stock
5) Keep adding stock as the rice absorbs the liquid; I didn’t measure how much I used in total, but ifย  you run out of stock just add water instead
6) When the rice becomes soft but is sill ‘al dente’, add the lemon juice
7) Scoop into bowls and top with some extra lemon zest and olive oil

 


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