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Lemony Garden Vegetable Risotto

Bev Cooks Recipe by

Lemony Garden Vegetable Risotto

Oh, oh, I THINK SO.

  • Prep Time 15 min
  • Total Time 60 min
  • Servings 4

Lemony Garden Vegetable Risotto  

As prepared by Bev Cooks

Remember the scene in Amélie when she's on the search for Dominique Bredoteau and the old French brittle man in her building stops her in the hallway and says, "Bretodeau. Not Bredoteau."

And she'd had it wrong the entire time? Well, every time I make risotto I say out loud to myself, "RISOTEAU" like he does in the movie.

Wasn't that just the most wonderful story you've ever heard?

Okay so risotto. My garden continues to birth tomatoes and zucchini past the point of it being even remotely funny. So, with starch on the heart and lemon on the noggin, I just had had HAD to make risotto or dah. And remember that siiiinful roasted garlic and lemon butter I made? WAYELL, it was divine and perfect and serendipitous and all things hyperbole mixed in this risotto.

Prepare for love.

Grab some arborio rice, stock, an onion, some white wine, zucchini, tomatoes, some of that insaaaane butter (or regular!), cheese and chives. AND A LEMON.

Ingredients for Lemony Garden Vegetable Risotto

Start by getting your zucchini nice and sautéed. I'm telling you what, the way it sizzled in that lemon garlic butter…oh my wooooooord, y'all.

Then just remove it from the pan and set it aside.

Sauteed zucchini

Back in the pan, add your finely diced onion and sauté for a bit, until you see some color. And if you need to add more butter, dew eet. Then add the rice and let it toast in the skillet for a minute or two.

Toasting rice

Then you'll add that wine, which I didn't photograph because it burns off so fast and I possibly forgot. So okay, what happens with risotto is a lot of ladling. So you'll bring your stock to a light simmer in a small pot next to the skillet, and ladle over 1/2 cup at a time. See how liquidy this looks? That's good.

Liquidy mixing

Okay, I added the lemon zest about halfway through the ladling process, which is totes up to you. Add it in the middle, the end, whatevs. See how creamy the risotto is getting? That's good.

Adding lemon zest

About 30 minutes of ladling and absorbing, your rice should be creamy and decadent. Then you'll add the remaining butter, your zucchini and tomatoes, and some good fresh lemon juice, like this. And oh, taste it and season with some coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. See how this looks? That's good.

Adding vegetables

And of course you add cheese. Which is also good.

Adding cheese

Serve her up! I went with little ramekins because I'm pretty much a huge nerd, but you can serve it however ya fancy! See that creamy wonderment? That's good.

Lemony Garden Vegetable Risotto, ready to eat

Garnished with chives, so good.

Garnished with chives

Fresh lemony flavor, creamy rice, pops of garden produce. Yeah, that's really good.

Lemony Garden Vegetable Risotto

Risooooteaaaauuuu. Just like in the movie! Sort of.

Bev is going to go watch Amélie now. Okay, again. For more musings, visit her blog Bev Cooks and her Tablespoon profile.
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Lemony Garden Vegetable Risotto


tablespoons roasted garlic and lemon compound butter (or regular butter), divided
cup diced zucchini
medium yellow onion, finely chopped
cup arborio rice
cup dry white wine
cups chicken or vegetable stock
cup halved cherry tomatoes
cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
lemon, for 1 Tbs. zest and 2 Tbs. juice
tablespoon chopped chives, for garnish
pinches coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


  • 1 Melt 2 Tbs. of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the zucchini and sauté until you start to see color, 5 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • 2 To the pan, add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes, or until they soften and start to slightly brown. Add the rice and toss to coat with the onions. Toast the rice for 1 minute.
  • 3 Add the wine and let it burn off, 30 seconds. In the meantime, have your 4 cups of stock on a low simmer. Ladle in 1/2 cup at a time, letting the rice slowly absorb the liquid. Continue to ladle the broth into the risotto on a medium simmer until the rice has become creamy and al dente. This will take close to 30 minutes.
  • 4 Add the lemon zest, juice, the zucchini, tomatoes, remaining 2 Tbs. butter, parmesan cheese and a big pinch of salt and pepper to the rice. Toss to combine. Taste and add more salt if needed.
  • 5 Serve garnished with chives.
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