- 1½ l vegetable stock
- 50g butter
Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…
- 1 onion, finely chopped
Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…
- 300g risotto rice
To create an authentic creamy Italian risotto, the use of specialist rice is imperative. It…
- 1 small glass white wine
- 50g Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), half finely grated, half shaved
Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- 2 handfuls soft herbs, including basil, chervil, chives, half chopped, half left whole
Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
True Balsamic vinegar is an artisan product from Modena, in Emilia Romagna, Italy, and is made…
Bring the stock to the boil and keep on a low simmer. In a separate pan, melt half the butter over a medium heat. Stir in the onions and sweat gently for 8-10 mins until soft but not coloured, stirring occasionally. Stir the rice into the onions until completely coated in the butter, then stir continuously until the rice is shiny and the edges of the grain start to look transparent.
Pour in the wine and simmer until totally evaporated. Add the stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring with each addition until absorbed. Continue adding stock a ladleful at a time and stirring the rice over a low heat for 25-30 mins, until the rice is cooked al dente (with a slightly firm, starchy bite in the middle). The risotto should be creamy and slightly soupy. When you draw a wooden spoon through it, there should be a wake that holds for a few moments but not longer.
When the rice is cooked, turn off the heat, stir in the grated Parmesan, the remaining butter, half the oil and the chopped herbs, then season with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and leave the risotto to rest for a few mins. Now make your herb salad. Roughly chop the chives, then mix with the whole herb leaves, remaining olive oil and the balsamic vinegar. Give the risotto a final stir, then serve in bowls topped with some of the herb salad and some shaved Parmesan.