Saturday, 23 June 2012

Simple herb and lemon risotto

This is such a simple risotto; creamy, comforting and restorative. It's amazing how so few ingredients can come together to make such a wonderful dish.

Feel free to experiment, add chicken or use red wine instead of white, the beauty of a risotto is that you can adapt it to whatever you have in the kitchen.

On this occasion though it was Friday night and I was eating on my own so I wanted something simple, plus I hadn't been shopping for a while so there were a limited choice of ingredients to choose from.

It's a great dish to make after a stressful week at work. I find the gradual adding of liquid and repetitive stirring somehow therapeutic. Add some gentle music and feel the tension melt out of your bones.


Serves one but can easily be doubled

1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
Olive oil
A couple of handful's of risotto rice. I used arborio.
A small glass of white wine
Good quality chicken stock, heated up. I always make some after each roast chicken and keep it in the freezer
1/2 lemon, zest and juice. I always try to buy waitrose's as you seem to get some much more juice for your money from them
A large bunch of soft herbs such as parsley, mint, chives and basil, finely chopped
Plenty of Parmesan

In a heavy based pan sweat the onion off in a little olive oil. You're aiming to just soften them without adding colour. After a few minutes add the garlic, lemon zest and the risotto rice. Again keep the heat low. You're aiming to get no colour. Once the rice starts to turn translucent add the white wine and stir until it has absorbed. Add a ladle of hot chicken stock and stir until it has absorbed. Keep repeating this until the rice is softened but still al dente. This will take 30-40 mins. You don't need to stir all of the time but make sure you stir frequently. Patience is the name of the game. The slowly the stock is absorbed the creamier the end result is. If you want to cheat you can add an egg yolk and a spoonful of cream or creme fraiche but I prefer to leave this out.

Once cooked finish by stirring through herbs, lemon juice, a handful of parmesan and seasoning. Serve and top with a few extra herbs and extra Parmesan if desired.

Here are the herbs I used.

And this is the finished dish

I am going to submit this recipe as part of the New June Herbs on Saturday blog challenge.

I love herbs and a you can see from previous posts I cook with then a lot. Since I've moved I have a small garden and am now the proud owner of a little herb garden. It's not much and I've focused on pretty standard herbs, but it's mine and I've been caring for it and watching it flourish and I'm proud of it (I have tried growing some Thai basil but as I type the little seedlings are curling up and giving up).

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