This is a fun and fresh recipe for a summer gathering that is something a little different than grilling. The bright acidity of lemon and freshness of parsley make the shrimp extra delicious, and the fresh veggies in the risotto keeps it from being too rich. Even better, this recipe uses just a little butter and no cheese, so the creaminess is from the starch cooking out of the rice, not added fats. This is a meal my mum whipped up for our family, and I thought I’d share it with you! At around $3.75 per serving, it’s not a crazy affordable meal, but it was delicious and can be made more affordable if you use your veggie scraps to make your own stock in advance (brings the total cost down to $11.54 or $2.89 a serving).
Lemon Shrimp with Risotto Milanese
$15.48 for four, or $3.75 per serving
For the risotto:
1 cup of Arborio rice- $1
1 small shallot, diced- $0.50
2 carrots, small dice- $0.72
3 sprigs thyme- $0.25
2 containers vegetable stock- $3.94
2 pinches saffron threads- ~0.80 or 1/2 tsp saffron powder ($0.04) if you can’t stomach the cost of buying saffron threads
Pantry: a small dollop of olive oil to start sautéing, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper
Optional: Butter to finish, white wine to deglaze
For the shrimp:
~20 shrimp, peeled and deveined- $7
Zest of a lemon (one lemon is used for this recipe)- $0.77
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Garnish: the other half of the lemon, cut into four slices for squeezing
The first step of this recipe is the same as any other where we’ve been making risotto- mise en place, or as I like to call it…. getting your shit together.
You can see from these photos that 2 separate plates were used- one for the shrimp prep and one for the risotto prep. It just makes things easier in the long run. It’s not shown in this picture, but after this, the lemon was halved and set on the parsley plate.
You’ll need to tackle your risotto first since it’ll take about thirty minutes to make. Start by popping your veggies (and thyme if you like) into a pot with either butter or oil in the bottom and soften about 1/2 to 3/4. You want some nice color on those onions. While you do that, take your stock and put your saffron in it, then warm it either in a pot or in the microwave. This stops you from bringing the temperature of your risotto down every time you add stock to it (which means it takes longer to cook), and it helps infuse the saffron.
Once your veggies are appropriately cooked, add your rice and toast it. Don’t be afraid to add a bit of extra oil if the pot seems too dry. I talked about toasting risotto rice here, if you need a bit more information. Once your rice is appropriately toasted, you will either deglaze with a ladle full of your stock, or a 1/2 cup of dry white wine, whichever you feel like. Stir until the first deglazing liquid evaporates and then add stock by the ladle and stir occasionally until that liquid evaporates, too. Repeat. Keep repeating until you’ve gone through about a box of stock or 3.5-4cups. Add a pinch of salt and pepper each time you add stock. Taste it at that point- is it soft, or do the rice grains stick to your teeth? If it’s soft and ready, turn off the heat and remove it from the burner. If not, continue the stock-stir-evaporate-taste process until the rice is cooked.
Once your risotto is ready and off the heat, using a skillet on medium heat with olive oil and chili flakes, throw in your shrimp. Once they are 1/2 way cooked, flip them and add your parsley, lemon zest and squeeze half of your lemon over the shrimp while they finish cooking. This only takes a few minutes.
To serve, give yourself a generous scoop of the risotto and about 5 shrimp. Squeeze additional lemon over your shrimp if you’d like! I’d recommend serving in a bowl rather than a plate like in these pictures- if your risotto spreads out, it cools faster.
Do you have a favorite recipe that tastes fresh like spring or summer, but doesn’t require a barbeque? I’d love to hear about it!
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