Risotto is traditionally considered to be a winter dish – but try replacing the butter with olive oil and you’ll instantly see how delicious risotto can be on a breezy summer evening.

Lemon and rosemary make for an interesting, unusual combination, because we are taught to think of them as aromas, rather than ingredients. Their delicate taste twists around this simple dish and makes it into a smart and elegant first course.

Serves: 2 | Preparation time: 15 mins | Cooking time: 20 mins

  • Risotto rice, Carnaroli or Arborio: 180 g
  • Shallot: 1
  • Lemon zest: about half a lemon
  • Lemon juice:  half a lemon
  • Italian Stracchino or spreadable Goat cheese or even delicate fresh cheese: 50 g
  • Rosemary leaves, a sprig
  • Parmesan, grated: 1 tbsp
  • Extra virgin olive oil: 2 tbsp
  • Salt: to taste
  • Vegetable broth (to cook the rice)


Chop finely the shallot and the rosemary leaves. Heat up the EVOO in a pot and gently fry both the rosemary and the shallot, stirring frequently to prevent them from burning.

Grate the lemon zest of half a lemon and put it aside. Press the halved lemon and put the juice aside, as well.

Pour the rice in the pot with the sauteed shallot and rosemary, and let it toast lightly. Add a pinch of salt and a few drops of lemon juice. Stir the mixture well, being careful not to burn the rice; add enough broth to cover the rice and let it simmer. Make sure to keep stirring and adding spoonfuls of broth, until the rice is completely cooked.

Add the rest of the lemon juice and almost all of the lemon zest; set aside a small quantity to garnish the dish before serving.

Switch off the stove, add the Stracchino or Goat cheese, stir and let the risotto rest for a few minutes: this step is important because it allows the different ingredients to really melt together.

Add the grated Parmesan and give the risotto a good, thorough stir. Sprinkle the lemon zest on top of the risotto and you’re ready to serve it.

Tip: This dish is a life-saver if your fridge is almost empty! Just swap the shallot with a simple onion, an use dry rosemary leaves instead of fresh ones.

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