(photos updated 9/2/19)
I LOVE risotto. Especially risotto made with fresh herbs from my garden. This fresh herb risotto is so easy it’s basically foolproof, and if you’re fast at chopping herbs, it can be ready in 30 minutes! I used a mixture of fresh basil, oregano, thyme, parsley and garlic chives here to create what’s probably one of my favourite recipes ever posted!
Testing this risotto was actually my first time making risotto of any type, and somehow it’s always turned out perfectly cooked by the time the stock is absorbed! If you feel that the rice needs a little more cooking after all the stock is used up, you can always add a little extra water or stock until it’s cooked properly though.
The steps for a perfect risotto:
- melt your butter with olive oil in a large, and heat up your stock separately
- soften your onion and garlic in the butter, then add the rice and stir to coat it and heat it through.
- add the stock a little at a time, simmering gently and adding more when it’s almost fully absorbed
- once all the stock is absorbed, add some more butter, parmesan, salt, pepper and herbs, and stir to mix through.
- serve it and enjoy!
If you need a little more help on how to make a perfect, creamy risotto then I have a whole post on how to get it right here, so make sure you read that. It’s very comprehensive and I guarantee you that you’ll find it helpful if you think from-scratch risotto seems a little intimidating to make.
Some people may find this recipe too time consuming as you do have to stay nearby the risotto (ideally in the kitchen) to keep stirring in the stock, but I find it very therapeutic. It’s also a good chance to chop some veggies to prepare for another meal, wash up or any do other odd jobs around the kitchen.
Flavour-wise, I prefer to let the herbs shine rather than the parmesan. I originally used twice as much parmesan and it was more than a little too rich. However, if you’d prefer more parmesan in your risotto then you could either add it as a garnish when you serve it, or simply increase the amount you melt in for creaminess – it’s up to you!
The quantities of each herb are similarly customisable – don’t like parsley? Don’t use it! I constantly change the quantities of each one – that’s the great thing about this fresh herb risotto; you control the flavours completely!
It’s also perfect for taking to school in a food thermos – one batch makes 5 perfect portions for me. However, as a full meal it would only make 4. It would also be great as an appetiser or a side dish with fish, asparagus or roasted red bell peppers.
Ways to eat it:
- with white fish topped with crunchy parmesan-herb breadcrumbs
- as a side dish to something very meaty (perhaps steak?)
- as a vegetarian main dish, served with chargrilled Mediterranean veggies such as peppers, aubergine, courgette and tomatoes
- just eat it as it is! If you want something lighter with it, a simple salad is the way to go.
I often make the risotto in advance, eating one portion once it’s cooked. I portion the rest out evenly between 4-5 pots depending on the number and sizes of portions I need. Once cooled, I store these portions in the fridge. To reheat, I just add around 1 tbsp water and a little extra seasoning. Microwave for 2 1/2 minutes, stirring at the 1 and 2 minute marks. Always follow health code guidelines when reheating cooked rice. It must be piping hot and should not have been stored in the fridge for more than 3-5 days.
Fresh Herb Risotto
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 125 g butter
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 white/yellow onion chopped
- 300 g arborio rice
- 1 bunch basil chopped
- 1 bunch parsley chopped
- 1 bunch thyme finely chopped
- 1 bunch oregano finely chopped
- 1 bunch garlic chives chopped
- 50 g Parmesan cheese grated
- salt and pepper to season
- herb sprigs to garnish (optional)
- Place the stock in a large saucepan to keep warm.
- In a separate large saucepan, melt half the butter with the olive oil, then add the garlic and onion and sauté gently for 2-3 minutes until softened.
- Add the rice and stir to coat thoroughly with the butter and olive oil. Add stock using a ladle until the rice is just covered and simmer gently, stirring very frequently.
- Once almost all of the liquid is absorbed, add 1-2 more ladlefuls of stock and allow it to be absorbed in the same manner. Repeat until all of the stock is absorbed and the rice is cooked and creamy.
- Reduce heat and add the remaining 60g butter, and parmesan. Stir to combine and then add herbs and season, stirring gently to evenly spread the herbs throughout.
- Serve immediately, garnishing with herb sprigs.
I do have an orzo risotto recipe that uses orzo pasta instead of rice, but is still just as creamy and delicious as the real thing (minus the stirring!). I serve it with lemon, asparagus and spinach, but feel free to change it up a bit!