Rice has two kinds of starches--amylose and amylopectin. Amylose is more prominent in long-grain rices and is the reason they cook up fluffy, distinct, and separate. Amylopectin, on the other hand, gelatinizes when cooked, and the short- and medium-grain rices used for risotto have an ideal quantity of amylopectin. Interestingly, the pricier carnaroli and vialone nano rices have relatively high amylose levels, and so will cook up more distinct and separate while still lending enough amylopectin to thicken the cooking liquid. We toast only half of the rice here, so that we can immediately "wash off" some starch from the not-toasted batch of rice when the broth is added. Constant stirring? Not really necessary. You'll see.

Recipe by Oxmoor House October 2014


Credit: Oxmoor House

Recipe Summary test

10 mins
1 hr
Serves 6 (serving size: about 3/4 cup)


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat your oven to 375°.

  • Place the lemon zest in a small bowl. Combine the lemon juice and the saffron in a separate small bowl.

  • Heat the broth in a small saucepan over medium heat until just simmering. Do not boil.

  • Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

  • Add the butter. Sauté and swirl until the foaming point.

  • Add the onion and stir 4 minutes, until glassy and soft.

  • Add half of the rice and stir to combine. Toast the rice gently, about 2 minutes. Now, add the lemon zest and the rest of the rice. Stir to combine.

  • Add all of the broth to the rice.

  • Add the saffron-lemon juice mixture.

  • Add the salt and the white pepper.

  • Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake for 40 minutes, until the moisture is almost fully absorbed by the rice.

  • Carefully pull the oven rack out a bit. Remove the lid, and stir and fold with a wooden spoon until the risotto is creamy, yet the rice grains are still distinguishable.

  • Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the risotto and bake, uncovered, an additional 8 minutes. Serve immediately.


Cooking Light Mad Delicious

Nutrition Facts

215 calories; fat 3g; saturated fat 1.9g; mono fat 0.5g; poly fat 0.1g; protein 7g; carbohydrates 40g; fiber 2g; cholesterol 11mg; sodium 350mg; calcium 22mg.