Lemon Risotto with Crème Fraîche Recipe

Lemon Risotto with Crème Fraîche

Risotto al Limone is a lovely recipe from Northern Italy. Using the round grained Arborio rice is paramount. Adding crème fraîche gives this dish a special touch.

Yield: 4 servings

Time: 45 minutes


  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 cups (400 g) Arborio rice
  • 5 cups (1 1/4 L) vegetable broth
  • zest of 1 untreated lemon
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) crème fraîche
  • 1/4 cup (25 g) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • salt and pepper to taste


Warm up the vegetable broth just below the boiling point.

In a large deep skillet melt the butter in olive oil. Heat it until foamy but not brown. Add the garlic and sauté it briefly. Add the Arborio rice and stir it well until all grains are coated. Cook it for a few minutes until the rice looks translucent. Lower the heat of the skillet to medium. Start adding the hot chicken broth a little at a time, just enough to loosen the rice without making it slushy. Continue stirring the rice, adding more broth as it is absorbed. When half of the broth has been added, stir in half of the lemon zest. Continue adding broth until the rice is done. It should be al dente and not mushy. If you run out of chicken broth add hot water.

Stir in the crème fraîche, the grated Parmesan cheese, and the remaining lemon zest. Correct seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary. The risotto should be loose and creamy. Sprinkle some freshly grated Parmesan on top.

This risotto is so tasty it is normally served as a main course, a delicious vegetarian dish.

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