Herb risotto

This risotto recipe is for a herb risotto with sunblushed tomatoes.  If looking for a recipe for risotto, this will be ideal.

Ingredients – Serves 4

  • Approx 650ml-700ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 25g butter
  • 1 large shallot
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 125g risotto rice (e.g. Arborio)
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1 large sprig thyme
  • ½ tablespoon flat-leaf parsley
  • Small bunch chives
  • 50g sunblushed tomatoes
  • 40g Parmesan cheese
  • Pinch saffron
  • Sea salt / pepper

Getting everything ready

  1. Make the vegetable stock.
  2. Wash the sprig of thyme and add to the stock.
  3. Peel and finely dice the shallot.
  4. Peel and finely chop the garlic clove.
  5. Flake 10g of Parmesan for the garnish.  Grate the remaining 30g.
  6. Wash, dry and chop the parsley.
  7. Wash and dry the chives and cut them into approx 1cm lengths, leaving a few for garnish.
  8. Roughly chop the tomatoes.

Method

  1. Pour the stock into a saucepan, bring to the boil, turn down and simmer gently.
  2. Gently heat a heavy-bottom saucepan and add the butter and olive oil.
  3. When the butter has melted, add the shallots and garlic.  Cook for a few moments without colouring.
  4. Add the rice and cook for a further few moments, stirring well to ensure that all the grains are coated in the oil.
  5. Turn up the heat and add the wine.
  6. Cook until all the wine has evaporated.  Turn down the heat again to a medium temperature.
  7. Slowly add the simmering stock.  Add a ladle-full at a time, adding the next ladle-full when the last one has almost been absorbed into the rice.  Do not rush this – take your time when adding the stock and keep stirring the risotto.
  8. About half way through making the herb risotto, add the pinch of saffron.
  9. The herb risotto is ready when it is creamy in texture and the rice has retained a little firmness to the bite.
  10. Season to taste.
  11. Just before serving the herb risotto, add the tomatoes, chives, parsley (leave a pinch for the garnish) and about ¼ of the grated Parmesan (put the remaining Parmesan into a dish with a spoon, and people can help themselves if they wish to add extra cheese).
  12. Spoon the herb risotto into small warm bowls and garnish with the flaked Parmesan, a few lengths of chives and parsley.

Herb risotto – hints and tips

If, as with this recipe, you are making a risotto for a starter, use small portions as it is very filling and you don’t want to fill people up before the rest of the meal.  Of course, risotto can be made into a main meal by increasing the amount of each ingredient.  The most important part of risotto making is the quality of the stock.

Add the stock slowly to the rice, stirring constantly – don’t rush it – it should take around 20-25 minutes from start to finish.

Go easy with the Parmesan cheese – you don’t want to end up with a cheesy rice pudding.  Add just enough to give a slight Parmesan flavour – you can serve a dish of Parmesan cheese as an accompaniment.

Watch this herb risotto being made

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