Risotto is a lot more versatile than people realize. Like soup or soufflé, it’s an inexpensive blank canvas for whatever you happen to have on hand—including, as I proved last year with strawberry-basil risotto, even fruit. The idea of incorporating citrus came from Judy Rodgers’ Zuni Cafe Cookbook. Between the quality of fruit I used, my inauthentic risotto method, and my jury-rigged mascarpone, Judy would be perfectly justified in coming up here to slap the book right out of my hands and hit me upside the head with it, but for a slightly modified budget meal, this was just as delicious, different, and refreshing as I had hoped. It’s probably best made during the winter, when citrus is at its peak (at least, it is around here), but if you’re going to make it now, ensure you at least find fruit that’s thin-skinned (less pith) and quite heavy for its size (more juice).
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• All-purpose flour: $8.05/400 oz. = 2 cents/oz., 10 cents/cup
• Apples: 78 cents/lb. (about 40 cents per apple)
• Arborio rice: $1.85/lb.
• Bacon: $2.75/lb. = 17 cents/oz.
• Beans (black): 99 cents/lb.
• Beans (navy): $1.08/lb.
• Butter (unsalted): $2 for 4 sticks: 6 cents/T
• Buttermilk: $1.49/quart = 37 cents/cup
• Canola oil: $8.99/160 oz. = 6 cents/oz. or 3 cents/T
• Carrots: 50 cents/lb., 15 carrots/lb. = 3 cents/carrot
• Celery: 99 cents/10 stalks: 9 cents/stalk
• Chicken (and beef) broth base: $6.89/16 oz. = 43 cents/oz., 21.5 cents/T, 7 cents/tsp (1 tsp = 8 oz.)
• Chickpeas: $1.49/lb. = 9 cents/oz.
• Farro: $1.69/lb. = 11 cents/oz.
• Garlic: 25 cents/head, 12 cloves: 2 cents/clove
• Half & half: $2.39/quart = 60 cents/cup
• Lemongrass: 53 cents/6 stalks: 9 cents/stalk
• Milk: $1.99/gallon = 16 cents/cup
• Oats: 25 cents/lb., 1 oz./half cup = 2 cents per 1/2 cup
• Olive oil: $22.79/203 oz. = 11 cents/oz. or 5.5 cents/T
• Onions: 49 cents/lb. (about 25 cents per large onion)
• Parmesan: $2.50/8 oz., 31 cents/oz.
• Pine nuts: $15.32/lb., about $1.30 for 2 T
• Porcini (dried): $4.03/oz.
• Quinoa: $4.29/lb.
• Shallots: 99 cents/lb. (about 87 cents for 1 very large shallot)
• Shiitake (dried): 51 cents/oz.
• Salt (kosher): $1.25/48 oz. = 3 cents/oz.
• Sugar (granulated): 52 cents/lb., 23 cents/cup