A creamy and flavour filled recipe for Artichoke, Caper and Lemon Risotto.

180g marinated artichoke hearts, cut into 1/8th wedges
2 Tbsp capers
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large clove of garlic, crushed
Juice from half a medium lemon
300g of risotto rice (I used carnaroli from Riso Gallo)
60g Parmesan cheese, grated
100ml dry white wine
2 Tbsp olive oil
20g +20g butter
600ml vegetable stock
Lemon zest to garnish

How to
If using salted capers (as opposed to capers in brine) like I did, soak for at least 15 minutes in cold water, drain and rinse before using.

Melt 20g of the butter together with the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and saute until the onion is translucent and soft but do not let it brown. Add the rice and cook for a minute or two, stirring constantly stir so that each grain is well-coated with oil/butter. Add the white wine and keep stirring until the liquid has been absorbed almost completely.

Add the hot stock a ladleful at a time (probably about 150-200 ml per ladle). Keep stirring until each ladleful has been completely absorbed, but do not let the rice dry out and stick to the pot. Once each ladleful is absorbed, add the next until the stock has all been added. The rice should be soft but each grain should retain some bite in the centre, perfectly al dente, which should take about 20 minutes.

5 minutes before the rice is ready, in a separate saucepan gently heat through the artichoke wedges and capers for 3-4 minutes. Stir the artichokes, capers and lemon juice into the risotto. Continue to cook over a low heat, stirring constantly, until heated through and the juice has been absorbed.

Remove from the heat and stir in the grated Parmesan cheese and the remaining 20g of butter. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary – beware of adding salt as the capers, cheese and artichokes are all salted already, but a good grind of pepper does not hurt. Garnish with lemon zest and a little more grated Parmesan and serve immediately.

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