I met Eric when I was 21. It was my last semester of college and he was freelancing, so our schedules were all over the place. Despite the craziness, we always managed to have dinner together. In this new relationship, I relished the opportunity to cook for someone. Prior to this courtship, I prepared food as a single person does. Salads mostly or pasta with tomato sauce, though sometimes I'd make myself a piece of fish. Whatever it was, portions were never more than a serving, maybe two. Cooking for someone, though, allowed me to venture outside my culinary comfort zone.
Risotto came into the picture very early on in our relationship on a frigid winter night. Windows quickly fogged up from the steam that produced with each ladle of broth that hit the pan. I stirred and stirred, and ladled some more. My first attempt was mostly successful; flavorful, but texturally off (I overcooked the rice). I made it a few more times after that and, with every go at it, got better.
With that being said, I really can't remember when I last prepared it. It's been years. Which is why I was thrilled when Italian cookware producer, Lagostina, offered to send me a risotto pan to try out. It's beautifully designed with some good heft to it. The pan distributes heat evenly, which meant there weren't areas where the risotto starts to burn (I've had that problem before with other pans). And the lid acts as a trivet, so you can flip it over and place it right on the table!
I'm thrilled to have spring produce back in the market. I couldn't resist the opportunity to pick up some artichokes for this dish. That and the thyme and the lemon zest all give this risotto some brightness. Topped with shrimp and you have a wonderful, hearty pescatarian meal. Leave it off, though, and it still holds up.
Now, for some news! Lagostina has been kind enough to provide a risotto pan for me to giveaway on my Instagram account! It'll be launched later this week, but be sure to follow along so you'll know when it's up!
Disclaimer: While I was provided with product, there was no monetary compensation for this post. All opinions and views are my own.
Baby Artichoke and Shrimp Risotto
10 baby artichokes, trimmed and quartered lengthwise
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 cups seafood or vegetable broth
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Heat the broth in a large pot set over medium-high heat.
2. Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook for 3 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate or bowl.
3. Melt the butter in the same large sauce pan (or risotto pan) set over medium heat. Add the chopped shallot and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the artichoke, garlic, and thyme and cook for 2 minutes.
4. Stir in the Arborio rice and cook for 2 minutes. Add the white wine and give it a stir. Cook until the wine is fully absorbed.
5. Add the broth to the pan one ladle at a time, making sure to stir the risotto frequently. When the broth has been absorbed, add another. Continue with the remaining broth and cook risotto until it's tender.
6. Mix the lemon zest and most of the Parmesan and shrimp into the risotto (leaving some cheese and shrimp to put on top).
7. Garnish with remaining shrimp, cheese, and some additional thyme.