It was time to harvest the Meyer Lemons. Yes, growing lemons indoors in Maine in the winter. They had turned yellow in January, and felt soft when squeezed a few weeks ago. They never developed that deep fragrance I would smell when entering the house, their sign that they are indeed ripe, but the tree developed new blossoms. So, I saw this as a sign that it was time to harvest.
Spring time and lemons --- a nice asparagus lemon saffron risotto would be the dish to make.
Meyer Lemon, Asparagus and Saffron Risotto
Makes 2 servings
- 1/2 TB butter
- 2 shallots or 1/2 white onion, peeled, small diced
- 1 garlic clove, microplaned
- 1/2 cup arborio rice
- juice of 1/2 Meyer Lemon
- zest of one organic (home-grown) Meyer lemon
- 1 1/2 cups of beef stock or vegetable stock (preferred: home made)
- about 10 stalks of frozen, grilled asparagus (or fresh asparagus)
- pinch of saffron
- salt to taste
- some grated parmesan
1) Preheat the stock so it can be added hot, and does not bring down the temperature of the risotto. Set aside.
2) Heat the butter a heavy bottom sauce pan (Le creuset pots are perfect for the task) on medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sweat until translucent. Add the rice, stir and ‘toast’ for 30 seconds on medium heat. Now, add the lemon juice, and stir in until well-combined.
2) Turn down the heat to medium-low, and start ladling in 1/4-1/2 cup of hot stock to the risotto. Also add the lemon zest and the saffron. Cook the risotto gently on low heat until the liquid is evaporated (4-5 min). Once the stock is cooked off, add another 1/2 cup of hot stock. Repeat until the rice is soft and cooked (about 25 min). During the last 10 minutes, add the asparagus.
3) Add the parmesan cheese and gently stir in. Taste for saltiness and either add more parmesan or salt to taste. Serve!