One-Pot Wonders

Judy Rodgers' Citrus Risotto

January  8, 2018
4 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

This recipe whizzes past many of the traditional rules of risotto-making, but you’ll get creamy, uncompromising risotto all the same. Firstly, though for years, Judy Rodgers had added just-simmering stock to her risotto, as tradition would dictate, “Then, after I casually made a fine risotto using room temperature stock, I started experimenting with cold, warm, and hot stock and found I could make a creamy risotto with any one.” This means from now on, in perpetuity, you can grab any stock out of your fridge or pantry and get your risotto going right away, without waiting for a pot to simmer, saving yourself burner space and a pan to wash. Your dinner can be truly one-pot, without any compromise. “This convenient heresy alarms even longtime cooks at Zuni,” she continued, “but it has not failed me.” Rodgers also wasn’t concerned about how frequently you add more stock, or how much it absorbs along the way, as long as the grains don’t completely dry out. “It is only the final doses that require thoughtful judgment, to make sure you don’t add more stock than an al dente grain needs.” Recipe adapted very slightly from The Zuni Café Cookbook (W. W. Norton & Company, 2002). —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
  • 1 to 2 medium grapefruit, to yield 3/4 cup sections (about 16 small sections) plus juice
  • 1 lime, to yield a scant 1/4 cup sections (about 8 sections)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion (2 ounces)
  • Salt
  • 2 cups Carnaroli or Arborio rice
  • 4 to 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone
  1. Slice both ends off the grapefruit and lime, cutting just deeply enough to expose the juicy flesh. Setting the citrus on a cut end, use a paring knife to carve away the skin and white pith in a series of smooth, curved strokes from top to bottom, rotating the citrus a little with each stroke. If you don't get all the pith on the first go-round, go back and trim any you missed. Working over a bowl to catch juices, cradle the citrus in one hand, slide the blade of the knife close to the membranes on either side of each segment and gently pry out the sections. Tease out any seeds you encounter as you go, and don't worry if some of the sections break. Squeeze the remaining juice from the grapefruit "carcasses" into the bowl.
  2. Warm the butter in a 4-quart saucepan or another medium pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and a few pinches of salt. Cook, stirring regularly, until the onions are tender and translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the rice and stir until the grains are warm and coated with fat. Add about 2 cups of the stock, adjusting the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, then stir as needed until it has been mostly absorbed. Add another cup of stock and repeat. The risotto should look like a shiny porridge of pearls. Taste: The rice will still be hard and a little raw tasting. Correct the satiny liquid for salt. Add another 1/2 cup or so of stock and stir as needed until just absorbed. Taste again, checking flavor and doneness.
  3. Break the citrus sections into irregular pieces as you add them, and the grapefruit juice, to the risotto. Continue to cook as described above. Taste again. If the rice is still quite firm, add more stock about a tablespoon at a time and cook until it is al dente, with a little firmness still in the center. If your grapefruit was very juicy, you may use little of the remaining stock. Turn off the heat and, with a little vigor, stir in the mascarpone. The citrus will be reduced to pretty flecks in the creamy rice. Serve promptly.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Alek Meyer
    Alek Meyer
  • MBE
  • Yvonne Miller
    Yvonne Miller
  • Helen S. Fletcher
    Helen S. Fletcher
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

11 Reviews

Alek M. March 28, 2019
Very good and unique recipe! It hits a good balance between creamy and tart. I can't eat grapefruit, so I made it with blood oranges and an additional lime to counter their sweetness.
MBE January 10, 2018
Hey Yvonne I'm with you! I find the process of stirring my risotto relaxing! When I teach a class, I tell my students to find a friend, give them a glass of wine and a spoon!!
Yvonne M. January 10, 2018
I would rather stir my risotto than go through the trouble of dealing with the grapefruit and lime. Interesting flavor profile but not doing that!
MBE January 10, 2018
I'm thinking that some of the "creaminess" that comes from the traditional method of adding warm/hot stock and slowly letting the rice grains release their starch is replaced by the addition of mascarpone here. I'm sure it's good but I'm sticking to the original tried and true method :-)
Helen S. January 10, 2018
Did I miss something? The stock is still being added slowly and "stirred as necessary". For years and years we used an oven risotto at the take out shop that was not cooked on the stove and the liquid was all added at once and then baked in the oven. Many ingredients could be added to the base risotto to vary it infinitely. The Lemon Asparagus Risotto was always served with the Salmon Wellington when we catered.
Lee A. January 10, 2018
I guess not having to heat the stock saves a little time, but I thought the same thing you did.
The fastest, easiest way I've found to make risotto is to do it in my Instant Pot.
Maribeth H. January 10, 2018
If cannot have grapefruit, is there a substitute?

Victoria C. January 10, 2018
That's a good point; I wonder if tangerines or blood oranges would work.
Maureen January 10, 2018
I can't eat grapefruit either so if anyone experiments with an alternative please share!
Alek M. March 18, 2019
Wondering the same thing, since it's incompatible with my meds! Trying to figure out an alternative that's not too sweet...
Alek M. March 28, 2019
I used blood oranges and an extra lime! It was very good.