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Cucumber Lemon Risotto

Contributed by: News Canada

(NC) - This delicately flavoured risotto is delicious served with grilled fish or chicken. Arborio rice, also known as short grain or Italian-style rice, is available in the rice or specialty food section of the grocery store. Be sure to prepare the Cucumber Juice before you begin cooking. The Cucumber Juice makes for a unique flavour, but if time is tight, you can substitute vegetable stock.

Cucumber Lemon Risotto
Prep: 25 minutes, Cook: 25 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup (250 mL) Arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) dry white wine
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
  • 4 to 6 cups (1 to 1.5 L) vegetable stock or water, heated to a simmer
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) Cucumber Juice, approx. (recipe follows)
  • 1 Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers English Cucumber, diced (not peeled)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) unsalted butter, cubed

Directions:

In heavy 3-quart (3 L) saucepan, over medium-high heat, warm olive oil. Add onion; reduce heat slightly and sauté for 4 minutes or until softened but not browned. Stir in rice; cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add wine and cook until reduced by half.

Add approximately 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) hot stock (enough to just barely cover the rice). Stir well to combine; reduce heat to simmer. As stock is absorbed, add more, 1/4 cup (50 mL) at a time, keeping a constant simmer with the stock level just above the rice. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until rice is "al dente" (i.e. it has lost its hard-kernel quality but is still firm in the middle.

While maintaining a simmer, stir in 1 cup (250 mL) Cucumber Juice. As juice is absorbed, stir in another 1/2 cup (125 mL) juice. Cook until that cucumber juice is absorbed. Stir in diced cucumber and finely grated rind from the lemon. If rice is too firm to taste, continue cooking adding a bit more Cucumber Juice. Season with salt, pepper and a bit of juice squeezed from the lemon. Remove from heat; stir in butter. Serve immediately.

Cucumber Juice:

Use a juicer to process 1 Ontario Greenhouse cucumber or process in a blender at "liquefy" speed; strain by pressing through a fine sieve.

Cook's Notes:

Stock must be warm when adding to risotto. Bring it to a boil and keep hot on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Serving Size: Makes 6 Servings


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