Dinners/ Grains, Potatoes, Rice/ Holidays/ Italian/ Recipes/ Side Dish/ Winter

Smoky Meyer Lemon Risotto

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

This creamy meyer lemon risotto with smoked gouda is my most favorite risotto recipe that I have ever made, and eaten, and now I am finally sharing it with you all! 

Finally my first post of 2020. December was so busy that I decided to take a little time off in the beginning of the year to relax with my family and get organized for all the recipes I want to share this year. Like this risotto.

I am a huge fan of risotto, I will almost always choose it over pasta when it is on the menu at Italian restaurants, and it is my favorite thing to make for dinner on weekends when I have a few extra minutes to take the time to make it. I can eat this risotto as is or make it with grilled chicken, shrimp, scallops or splurge and make steamed king crab legs to go with it for a holiday meal. This risotto goes with everything. 

Creamy Meyer Lemon Risotto with Smoked Gouda www.pineappleandcoconut.com

My meyer lemon tree is bursting again this year so I waited for the lemons to be fully ripe before making this recipe to finally share with you all. I have made this risotto recipe a few times over the last few months, we even had it for Christmas dinner. Every time I make it I tweak it just a little bit and I think it’s absolutely perfect now. 

Meyer Lemon Tree growing in Las Vegas, Nevada www.pineappleandcoconut.com

My meyer lemon tree is next to my back patio just under my kitchen window. It is supposed to be a dwarf tree, but I think it thinks otherwise since it is now creeping up my window. It’s an over achiever of a tree. It is huge, produces a few hundred lemons a year now, they are huge lemons too, and it smells amazing. I love the aroma from the lemons in my yard and I love being able to walk a few steps out to my backyard to pick lemons whenever I want. They are the best lemons. 

I swear one of these days I will remember to include ALL the recipe items in my ingredients photo. I left out the wine in this pic! Definitely do not forget the wine in the recipe. I use a dry white wine like sauvignon blanc, feel free to use whatever white wine you prefer. 

Smoky Meyer Lemon Risotto www.pineeappleandcoconut.com

Risotto is a process but it doesn’t have to be intimidating or take hours. Someone once told me they can make risotto in 18 minutes. I tried that once. Didn’t work out so well. It was still very undercooked. It takes me about 45 minutes from start to finish. I love making this on weekends when I have little more time to cook, weeknights are usually pretty busy here with my kids’ school and sports schedule. 

Instead of inundating you with a gazillion step by step photos I made a little video for you all with the steps:

This is the texture that I like for risotto. Creamy but still a little on the firm side. Similar to al-dente pasta. Has just a bit of “bite” or chewy texture to it. Not soupy but oh so creamy. 

I love a bit of Italian parsley for color and flavor in my meyer lemon risotto. I usually add it in at the very end and sprinkle it on top. Feel free to stir it in if desired. 

Smoky Meyer Lemon Risotto www.pineeappleandcoconut.com

 Another addition I love to risotto is a little drizzle of olive oil and extra shredded parm. I love adding in my lemon olive oil from Luigi Tega. Its seriously the best olive oil I have ever had. Amazing quality. 

Smoky Meyer Lemon Risotto www.pineeappleandcoconut.com

This recipe gets its smoky flavor from smoked gouda. I was craving risotto one night and only had a little bit of parmesan cheese left in my fridge, I spied some leftover smoked gouda in my fridge from another recipe and decided to add it in. So glad I did. The subtle smoky flavor really adds a fantastic layer of flavor to this recipe.  

A few notes about this recipe first:

  • Use either Arborio or Carnaroli rice. It’s rice specific to risotto and will result in the texture you want.
  • Do not pre-rinse or soak the rice, this will cause it to lose the starches you need for the risotto to have the correct texture.
  • You can use either chicken or vegetable broth. I wouldn’t suggest using water because the broth adds more flavor. Water doesn’t. 
  • Keep your broth in a pot next to the risotto pot on medium low heat. You don’t want it simmering, but steaming. This way not too much evaporates while you are making the risotto.
  • You may end up with leftover broth and that is ok. You want more than not enough when making this recipe
  • The texture of the rice is up to you, you may not use all of the broth or you may end up using all of it. If you live in a drier climate or make the recipe during wintertime you may end up using it all. I never measure exactly how much total broth I end up using, I just add 8 cups to the pan and stop adding it when I reach the doneness level that I like. 
  • Risotto freezes and reheats well. You can either thaw at room temperature if frozen or in the refrigerator overnight. I like to reheat in a pan with a little extra broth. It won’t be the exact same texture when first made but still really good. You could also microwave it but I am not a fan of using my microwave other than storing cups of coffee for most of the day. 

Yield: 6-10

Smoky Meyer Lemon Risotto

Smoky Meyer Lemon Risotto

Creamy Meyer Lemon Risotto with Smoked Gouda. Serves 6 as a main dish, 10 as a side.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided ( I use Luigi Tega lemon olive oil)
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1/2 c diced leek
  • 1 tsp each kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice
  • 3/4 c dry white wine ( I like using Dark Horse wines sauvignon blanc)
  • 6-8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp Meyer lemon zest
  • 3 Tbsp Meyer lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 cups (4 ounces) freshly grated parmesan, divided
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) smoked gouda, shredded

Garnish

  • Fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. Set two pans on your stove, a 4 qt saucepan for broth, a larger pot for the risotto. I use a wide 6 qt stock pot like pan, a dutch oven would work as well. 
  2. Fill the saucepan with broth and keep warm over medium-low heat. You don’t want this to boil.
  3. In the larger pot or pan heat over medium-high heat then add two tablespoons of the oil and one tablespoon of the butter. 
  4.  Add in the diced onion and leeks. Sauté for 5-6 minutes or until starting to caramelize. 
  5. Add in the salt and pepper, stir, then add in the rice and stir for one minute. Add in the wine, let sit for a few seconds then stir until it is completely absorbed. 
  6. Add in the zest, juice  salt and pepper. Stir again. 
  7. Add in one and a half cups of the warm broth to the rice, Let sit for one minute then stir. Stir occasionally until it is completely absorbed. Repeat with only a half a cup of broth, let sit for a minute, then stir until combined until the rice is tender but still firm aka “al dente”. This will take about 30 minutes. You may or may not use all of the broth, depends on how high of heat you use, if you use a little more than 2 cups of rice, or if you are in a dryer environment. And if you like the rice a little more softer to the bite, add more broth. 
  8. Once the texture is to your liking, remove the risotto from the heat and stir in one cup of the parmesan cheese, the shredded gouda and the remaining tablespoon of butter. Taste and add more salt and pepper or lemon juice if desired. Keep warm until ready to serve. 
  9. Serve with a sprinkling of the remaining parmesan cheese, a little of the remaining olive oil and chopped Italian parsley. 

Notes

  • Use either Arborio or Carnaroli rice. It's rice specific to risotto and will result in the texture you want.
  • Do not pre-rinse or soak the rice, this will cause it to lose the starches you need for the risotto to have the correct texture.
  • You can use either chicken or vegetable broth. I wouldn't suggest using water because the broth adds more flavor. Water doesn't. 
  • Keep your broth in a pot next to the risotto pot on medium low heat. You don't want it simmering, but steaming. This way not too much evaporates while you are making the risotto.
  • You may end up with leftover broth and that is ok. You want more than not enough when making this recipe
  • The texture of the rice is up to you, you may not use all of the broth or you may end up using all of it. If you live in a drier climate or make the recipe during wintertime you may end up using it all. I never measure exactly how much total broth I end up using, I just add 8 cups to the pan and stop adding it when I reach the doneness level that I like. 
  • Risotto freezes and reheats well. You can either thaw at room temperature if frozen or in the refrigerator overnight. I like to reheat in a pan with a little extra broth. It won't be the exact same texture when first made but still really good. You could also microwave it but I am not a fan of using my microwave other than storing cups of coffee for most of the day. 

Meyer Lemons www.pineappleandcoconut.com

I have many more recipes planned with my meyer lemons so stay tuned for more! Hope you enjoy this smoky meyer lemon recipe as much as I do and please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions about the recipe. 

You Might Also Like

3 Comments

  • Reply
    November
    January 28, 2020 at 2:41 am

    Where can I get a Meyer lemon seedling?
    I want to cultivate one in my patio too.

    • Reply
      Shanna
      January 28, 2020 at 10:40 pm

      check your local nursery or even Lowes. They have a great selection of citrus trees

  • Reply
    Friday Faves | foodiecrush
    February 7, 2020 at 5:01 am

    […] This risotto adds a whole lotta love to Valentine’s Day. […]

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.