This is a basic lemon risotto and tastes rather wonderful as it is, however (and purists will shudder) I also add cooked peas and/or prawns - lovely. These proportions serve two. Double the quantity for four people. If you are cooking for more than four, cook something else because it's just too finicky.


300g risotto rice (arborio,carnaroli or vialone nano)

1 litre boiling vegetable stock

2 shallots or one small onion

1 stick celery

60g butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

zest and juice of an unwaxed lemon

1 egg yolk

4 tablespoons grated parmesan

4 tablespoons double cream

salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary needles and or thyme


Peel and finely chop shallots/onion and finely chop celery (I find the food processor does a marvellous job at this)

Fry in the oil and half the butter until soft and translucent (don't let it brown)

Mix in rice, stirring until all the rice is coated in oil

Pour ladleful of boiling stock into rice and keep stirring until the stock is absorbed

Add another ladleful and stir again

Repeat until the rice is al dente (no longer chalky, but with some bite)

If the stock is used up before the rice is al dente, add hot water

Mix lemon zest and herbs into the risotto.

In a bowl, beat the egg yolk, cream lemon juice, parmesan and pepper

When the rice is ready, remove from the heat and stir in the cream mixture

Stir in the remaining butter and season to taste