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Author Notes: Bright, lemon-y, and refreshing, yet comforting, this is a great meal for a family Sunday night in early spring. - Freyja Balmer
- 3 leeks, divided
- 1 cup cream
- 1 large tomato
- 10 large basil leaves, cut into chiffonade, divided
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 2 large cloves of garlic
- 3-4 cups chicken or shrimp stock
- 1 pound fresh rock shrimp
- 3/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
- 1 Meyer lemon
- salt and pepper
- Carefully wash the leeks, then trim the root end and the tops just where they start to turn light green. Halve them longways, then check for mud and dirt again and rinse if necessary. Slice into thin half-moons, keeping the slices from one of the leeks separate from the other two.
- Put the slices from two of the leeks into a small saucepan, cover with the cream, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then allow to simmer gently for about 10 minutes. Add tomato and continue to simmer.
- Meanwhile, start the risotto. In a heavy-bottomed, medium-sized stock pot, melt 1 tbsp butter. Add leeks, and sauté over medium heat for a few minutes until softened and beginning to brown slightly.
- Add rice and sauté for 2-3 minutes until coated with butter-leek mixture and beginning to toast. Add 2/3 cup wine and stir until wine is mostly absorbed. Add about 1/2 cup chicken or shrimp stock at a time, stirring frequently, waiting to add more stock until there’s just a little bit of liquid left. Continue to add stock until the rice is cooked through and just barely firm in the center. Grate a bit of the Meyer lemon rind (from about 1/4 of the lemon) into the risotto, and season to taste.
- Add 1/2 basil and peas to cream mixture and stir. Check seasoning, then pour into risotto and gently fold to combine with the rice.
- Heat a large non-reactive skillet over high heat. Add 1 tbsp butter and melt, then add shrimp, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until cooked through — about 2 minutes. Add shrimp to risotto, then return skillet to heat, melt the remaining 1 tbsp butter, then add the garlic cloves, pressing them through a garlic press. Sauté for just a few seconds, then pour in 1/3 cup wine to deglaze, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Pour liquid into risotto, then squeeze 1/2 Meyer lemon on top and fold gently to combine.
- Serve in shallow bowls, garnishing with a grating of Parmigiano-Reggiano and some of the basil chiffonade. Serve with the same wine you used to add to the risotto.
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