Thursday, June 3, 2010
Risotto with Fresh Herbs
Herb Gardens. Every year I attempt to grow one. Every year I end up killing one. It's not for lack of trying, but I definitely don't have a green thumb. This year I'm trying again. I have a small herb garden out back with lemongrass, chives, basil, parsley, cilantro, oregano, mint and dill. For now, everything is thriving and I am taking full advantage of having those fresh herbs in my backyard. I'm crossing my fingers that I can "do what it takes" to keep them alive throughout the summer, but I'm not making any promises either.
This week's theme over at I Heart Cooking Clubs is Herb Garden. I decided to make a risotto with fresh herbs. I went out to the garden and picked some chives, basil, mint, dill, and parsley, about 1/2 cup fresh herbs in all.
Simple Risotto with Fresh Herbs
How To Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman
4 - 6 cups vegetable stock
Large pinch saffron threads (optional) *I didn't have any saffron so I left it out
4-6 tablespoons butter or EVOO, to taste
1 medium onion, minced
1-1/2 cups Arborio rice
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine or water
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh herbs(parsley, basil, dill, mint, chervil, oregano, marjoram, or a combination of fresh herbs
Put the stock in a medium saucepan over low heat; add the saffron if you're using it. Put the 2 tablespoons of the butter or oil in a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium heat. Allow the remaining butter to soften while you cook. When the butter is melted or the oil is hot, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it softens, 3 -5 minutes.
Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is glossy and coated with butter, 2-3 minutes. Add a little salt and pepper, then the white wine. Stir and let the liquid bubble away.
Use a ladle to begin to add the warmed stock, 1/2 cup or so at a time, stirring after each addition and every minute or so. When the stock is just about evaporated, add more. The mixture should be neither soupy nor dry. Keep the heat medium to medium-high and stir frequently.
Begin tasting the rice 20 minutes after add it; you want it to be tender but with still a tiny bit of crunch; it could take as long as 30 minutes to reach this stage. When it does, stir in 2-4 tablespoons butter or oil (to taste) and at least 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. Toss in the fresh herbs, reserving some for garnish if you like and serve immediately. Pass Parmesan cheese at the table if you like.
Notes/Results: We love risotto, so I knew we would love this recipe. It was perfectly creamy and full of fresh herbaceous flavor from all the fresh herbs. This recipe is a great main dish, but also would make for a beautiful side dish. I would definitely make this recipe again.
I am submitting this to I Heart Cooking Clubs for this week's theme Herb Garden. Stop on by to see what everyone else is cooking up.
Do you have an herb garden?