Meyer Lemon Risotto with Romanesco and Fennel
For the roasted veggies:
1 head Red Dog Farm romanesco, broken into florets
1 bulb Red Dog Farm fennel, cut crosswise into ½ inch thick pieces
1/2 Meyer lemon, zested and freshly squeezed for juice
Extra virgin oil
Fresh ground pepper
For the risotto:
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 leek, washed well, cut lengthwise into quarters and diced crosswise
1 cup Carnaroli rice
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 egg yolk
1 Meyer lemon, zested and freshly squeezed for juice
Roast the veggies:
Preheat oven to 400°.
Mince 2 tablespoons of the fennel stalk and the fennel fronds to as garnish, reserve.
Place the vegetables in a roasting pan, preferably with low sides so they can caramelize easily. Toss and coat with extra virgin olive oil, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper to taste. Place in a 400° oven and roast, stirring occasionally while making the risotto, until the vegetables are caramelized and tender. Keep warm.
For the risotto:
While the vegetables are roasting, place the stock in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter pan over medium heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until the grains of rice are coated with butter. Add the leeks and stir several minutes, then add a ladle of simmering broth to barely cover the rice. Stir as the stock is reduced and the rice is absorbing the broth. Add an additional ladle of broth — the rice shouldn’t be swimming, but not dry either — until all the broth is absorbed. The whole process should take about 30 minutes.
Mix together the egg yolk, lemon juice and zest, ½ of the Parmesan cheese and the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Swirl the mixture into the hot rice until thoroughly mixed and hot.
Divide the risotto between 4 warm plates. Top with the vegetables, garnish with minced fennel stalk and fronds, and the remaining Parmesan cheese.