Fresh Herb Risotto – A Garden Inspired Twist

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Risotto has a special place in my heart. The ultimate comfort food always makes me feel warm and satisfied. And when it’s made with fresh herbs like in this recipe, it’s simply irresistible.

As a big sucker for a good plate of herb risotto, I always order it whenever I go to an Italian restaurant. There’s just something so comforting about the creamy texture and rich flavor that always leaves me feeling satisfied. And the best part? Making it at home is easier than you think! This recipe calls for just one cup of rice, which yields about four servings as a side dish. Perfect for intimate dinners or for impressing a small group of guests.

I’m excited to share my favorite risotto recipe, which puts a delicious twist on the classic dish using a combination of fresh herbs. From the aroma of thyme to the herbaceous flavor of dill, each herb adds a unique flavor to the dish, making it a feast for the senses. It’s also healthy, so you’ll love this fresh herb and garlic risotto recipe!

If you’re new to making Risotto, don’t worry—just read through this blog, and you can whip up a perfect batch every time. So get ready to impress your taste buds and dinner guests with this delectable fresh herb risotto recipe.

What is Risotto?

Risotto comes from the Italian word “riso,” which means rice. Risotto is a classic Italian dish that originated in Northern Italy. Often, people wonder what’s better, “arborio or carnaroli rice for risotto?” which is a great question. It is traditionally made with Arborio rice, broth, and a few essential seasonings and is known for its creamy texture and rich, comforting flavor. While the basic version of Risotto consists of rice and broth, various ingredients such as vegetables, meats, seafood, and cheese have been added to create different flavor variations over time. Despite the many variations, the key to a good risotto is slowly cooking the rice in the broth while constantly stirring to achieve the desired creamy consistency.

Flavor Profiles: Herb Risotto Ingredients

  • Arborio Rice: Arborio rice is the preferred choice for risotto due to its high starch content. When cooked, it becomes creamy and offers a rich, nutty flavor with a slightly chewy texture, perfect for absorbing the savory herb-infused broth.
  • Chicken or Vegetable Broth: Both chicken and vegetable broths provide a savory, umami-rich base for the risotto. The choice between them can affect the overall flavor profile, with chicken broth adding a deeper meaty note, while vegetable broth maintains a more delicate, herb-centric character.
  • Dry White Wine: Dry white wine adds brightness and complexity to the dish. Its acidity cuts through the richness and enhances the herbal notes, imparting a subtle fruitiness to the risotto.
  • Unsalted Butter: Unsalted butter contributes a luxurious, creamy texture and a rich, savory taste. It rounds out the flavors and adds depth to the dish.
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: Extra-virgin olive oil provides a fruity and peppery note, enhancing the overall richness and depth of the risotto. It also adds a silky texture.
  • Shallots: Shallots offer a delicate, sweet, and mild onion flavor. When finely chopped and sautéed, they provide a fragrant base that complements the herbal notes.
  • Garlic: Garlic adds a robust, savory, and slightly spicy element to the risotto. Its pungent aroma enhances the overall herbaceous profile.
  • Mixed Fresh Herbs: A combination of fresh herbs, such as parsley, chives, basil, thyme, and sage, contributes a medley of flavors. These herbs bring brightness, freshness, and a variety of aromatic notes, elevating the risotto’s herbal character.
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese: Grated Parmesan cheese adds a salty, nutty, and umami-rich flavor to the risotto. It enhances the creaminess and complements the herbal and wine notes.
  • Salt and Pepper: Salt enhances the overall flavors, while freshly ground black pepper adds a touch of spiciness, balancing the herbal and savory elements to perfection.

This flavorful combination of ingredients creates a delectable herb risotto showcasing fresh herbs’ natural richness and savory components.

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Herb Risotto

  • Choose the Right Rice: Arborio rice is the most commonly used variety for risotto due to its high starch content, which creates a creamy texture. Other short-grain rice varieties like Carnaroli or Vialone Nano can also work.
  • Toast the Rice: Bring out a nutty flavor by toasting the rice in butter or oil for a few minutes before adding liquid.
  • Keep Broth Warm: Maintain the broth at a simmer and add it to the rice one ladleful at a time, stirring frequently. This ensures even cooking and speeds up the process.
  • Frequent Stirring: Stirring the risotto often releases starch from the rice, creating the creamy texture it’s known for.
  • Use Quality Ingredients: Risotto relies on a few key components, so using high-quality ingredients like homemade broth, fresh herbs, and Parmesan cheese is crucial.
  • Add Parmesan at the End: To preserve its flavor and prevent graininess, add Parmesan cheese towards the end of the cooking process.
  • Avoid Overcooking: Cook the rice until it’s tender but retains a slight “al dente” texture. Overcooking can lead to mushiness and loss of texture.

Personalizing the Classic Italian Dish

One of the wonderful aspects of risotto is its versatility, allowing you to tailor it to different tastes and seasonal ingredients. Here are some ideas:

  • Seasonal Variations: Embrace the seasons by incorporating roasted butternut squash and nutmeg for a cozy fall butternut squash risotto. For a vibrant twist, go for fresh tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella in the summer.
  • Protein Additions: Add proteins such as shrimp, chicken, or crab to elevate your risotto. These options bring unique flavors and textures to the dish.
  • Vegetable Choices: Experiment with vegetables like mushrooms, asparagus, or peas to create variations like mushroom asparagus risotto or fresh pea risotto. These additions can complement the dish beautifully.
  • Exploring Other Ingredients: Don’t hesitate to explore other ingredients like zucchini or beef to craft your unique risotto creations. The endless possibilities allow you to customize your dish to your liking.

With these simple modifications, you can transform your risotto into a delightful and personalized culinary masterpiece. This recipe is a versatile canvas for your creativity, whether it’s crab risotto, beef risotto, or any other variation.

Serving Suggestions for Fresh Herb Risotto

Risotto is a versatile dish, perfect as a main or a side. Looking for the ideal pairing? Here are some ideas:

How to Make Fresh Herb Risotto – A Garden Inspired Twist

Preparation

1.
Bring the chicken or vegetable broth to a simmer in a saucepan and keep it warm over low heat.
In a separate heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt one tablespoon of butter with the olive oil over medium heat.

Bring the chicken or vegetable broth to a simmer in a saucepan and keep it warm over low heat.
Mark as complete
2.
Add the onion, garlic, and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the Arborio rice and stir to coat with the butter and oil. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice is lightly toasted.
Mark as complete
3.
Add the white wine and stir until it is completely absorbed.
Begin to add the warm broth to the rice, stirring frequently and allowing each addition to absorb before adding the next, one ladleful at a time. Continue this process until the rice becomes tender and the risotto achieves a creamy and slightly soupy consistency, usually taking around 20-25 minutes.
Mark as complete
4.
Remove the heat and stir the remaining tablespoon of butter, mixed fresh herbs, and Parmesan cheese—season with salt and pepper to taste.
Mark as complete
5.
Serve hot, garnished with additional fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese! Enjoy
Mark as complete

Ingredients:

1X 2X 3X
Adjust Servings
1 cup Arborio rice
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup mixed fresh herbs (such as parsley, chives, basil, thyme, and or sage), finely chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation

1
Bring the chicken or vegetable broth to a simmer in a saucepan and keep it warm over low heat. In a separate heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt one tablespoon of butter with the olive oil over medium heat. Bring the chicken or vegetable broth to a simmer in a <a href="https://capitaloneshopping.com/p/all-clad-4203-stainless-steel-tr/Q6J26777M2" target="_blank">saucepan</a> and keep it warm over low heat.
2
Add the onion, garlic, and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the Arborio rice and stir to coat with the butter and oil. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice is lightly toasted.
3
Add the white wine and stir until it is completely absorbed. Begin to add the warm broth to the rice, stirring frequently and allowing each addition to absorb before adding the next, one ladleful at a time. Continue this process until the rice becomes tender and the risotto achieves a creamy and slightly soupy consistency, usually taking around 20-25 minutes.
4
Remove the heat and stir the remaining tablespoon of butter, mixed fresh herbs, and Parmesan cheese—season with salt and pepper to taste.
5
Serve hot, garnished with additional fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese! Enjoy

Rana’s Notes!

How to Store and Reheat Leftover Herb Risotto: Leftover risotto can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, add a splash of broth or water to a saucepan, and stir in the cold risotto. Heat over medium-low heat, occasionally stirring, until the risotto is heated and creamy again. If you have a large batch of risotto or want to save some for later, you can freeze it for up to 2-3 months. To freeze, let the risotto cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag. When you're ready to enjoy it, thaw the risotto in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat it using the stovetop or microwave. Remember that the risotto's texture may change slightly after freezing and reheating, but it should still be delicious.

Nutrition Information

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.
See our full nutrition disclosure here.

rana

By Rana

Thanks for visiting my Mediterranean food blog and welcome to my virtual kitchen! Here, you’ll find mouth-watering, wholesome, and nutritious Mediterranean recipes that will change the way you view cooking.

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