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Playing How to Make Lobster Risotto with Saffron, Tomatoes and Zucchini | Anne Burrell

Chef Anne Burrell, who recently got married, makes a creamy, dreamy date night risotto with chunks of lobster, saffron, diced tomatoes and zucchini + lots of Parm and butter. It's perfect for Valentine's Day, too!

It's one of the first dishes she cooked for her now-husband, and she thinks it's what got him hooked! It takes a little bit of planning, she says, but risotto itself is basically a one-pot deal. She gussies it up with lobster cooked in a court-bouillon and saffron-infused chicken stock.

For more recipes by Anne, check out her Broccoli & Almond Pesto and Maple-Pumpkin Bread Pudding.


For the Court-Bouillon: 
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 head garlic, halved crosswise
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • ¼ cup whole coriander seeds 
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt 
  • 1 bottle white wine
  • Two 2-pound lobsters 
For the Risotto: 
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • Kosher salt
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups carnaroli rice 
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 2 beefsteak tomatoes
  • Pinch saffron
  • 1 large zucchini, cored, seeded and diced
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) cold unsalted butter 
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano 
  • ½ cup parsley leaves, chopped


Serves: 4 to 6


For the court-bouillon, prepare a large pot of boiling water (about 8 quarts). Add the lemon halves, garlic, thyme, coriander seeds, bay leaves, salt and wine. Bring back to a boil, then add the lobsters and cook until bright red, 10 minutes. Remove the lobsters from the water and set aside to cool. 

When cool enough to handle, remove the tail, claw and knuckle meat and reserve the shells and bodies. Keep 2 pieces of claw meat whole and reserve. Slice 1 tail lengthwise into 4 pieces and reserve. Dice the remaining tail into large chunks, along with the remaining claw meat and knuckle meat. Set aside. 

For the risotto: Warm the chicken stock in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the reserved lobster shells and bodies to the stock. 

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, season with kosher salt and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes and saute until the onions are translucent, 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat with the olive oil and onion. Toast the rice, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the wine, tomatoes and a pinch of salt and stir frequently until the liquid has completely absorbed. 

Begin to add the hot stock, two ladlefuls at a time. Stir frequently until the stock has absorbed into the rice. Add the saffron. Repeat adding the stock two more times until the rice is tender, but still has some bite to it. (There may be leftover stock.) 

Add the zucchini, diced lobster meat, butter, Parmigiano and parsley. Stir vigorously to combine. Season with kosher salt to taste. 

To plate, scoop generous portions of risotto into 4 bowls. Halve the reserved pieces of claw meat crosswise to make 4 pieces. Garnish each portion with a piece of lobster claw and tail.