My now-nonexistent, tiny, indoor city garden – if you can call it that – was still a place for me to walk across the room to grab fresh herbs. I realized I have taken this for granted enormously.
I still have a way to stockpile fresh herbs, though. And it saves a few, literally, bucks in the process. But mostly, it allows me to sigh in relief when I realize – oh wait, I do have fresh dill.
Here’s all it is – grab a pack of ice cube trays, sprinkle desired fresh herbs into the cubes, and cover with olive oil, putting the tray in the freezer until you need it. It’s made a big difference in knocking down my shopping list, especially those times when my shopping list should essentially be one of everything in the store.
This recipe is a perfect example – fresh herb heavy dish? You’re covered!
When I have a new idea for a dish, I have to ask myself, is making this more complicated – adding more ingredients, introducing extra steps to recipes – really going to make it taste better?
Yes, there are times I want parmesan risotto. Perfect as it is, and it scratches that itch.
But I have those moments when I veer off the road, screech a u-ey and speed the other way. I call some of my recipes “Frankenstein” recipes because they mesh two dishes together. Pizza Carbonara. Surf & Turf Fried Rice. I think you get it. Follow this tag here to see what I’m talking about.
But risotto lends itself to being conjoined with another dish – not because it’s bland, but because it’s the perfect vehicle for other flavor profiles. It’s already starchy and fattening. Check. So bringing herbs, strong spices and other non-traditional ingredients into the mix doesn’t wipe out the risotto-ness of the dish.
The flavor is so spot on, that it tastes uncannily similar if you make or eat green goddess dressing regularly. The yummiest kicker though, is that one or two filets of anchovies you add. It sets the risotto off, and I can’t get enough of anchovies.
One fun fact to leave you with – the American-originated version of green goddess dressing, which hails from San Francisco, had chives, chervil and tarragon as its herb base, not basil. If you’re anything like me, you’ve thought green goddess dressing was basil-based. I use scallions here because I wanted a stronger onion-y bite, but a combination of those three herbs would be the most historically accurate.
This is another risotto for the books in my kitchen, and hopefully in yours too. 😊
I N G R E D I E N T S
- 1 1 / 2 cup arborio rice
- 3 / 4 stick butter, salted or unsalted
- 1 cup parm reg, shredded
- 1 / 2 cup parsley, chopped
- 1 / 4 cup scallions, chopped
- 2 anchovy filets
- 1 lemon, juiced and zested
- 1 / 4 cup olive oil, more as needed
- 1 quart chicken stock
- Salt, as needed
- Pepper, as needed
D I R E C T I O N S
- Combine the parm reg, parsley, scallions, anchovies, lemon juice and zest, and a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper in a food processor. While whirring, slowly add in 1 / 4 cup of olive oil. Continue to puree until it reaches a pesto consistency. If more oil is needed to thin out the sauce, add more a bit at a time. Set aside.
- Heat the chicken stock in a small saucepan until simmering. It should stay simmering for the duration of the cooking.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan, and add the rice, stirring for 2 minutes or so until the rice toasts a bit.
- Add a ladle of stock and stir. Keeping the heat on medium-low, gently stir the rice intermittently, and when the rice appears to get a bit dry, add more stock. After about 20 minutes, test the doneness of the rice. The rice should be al-dente, and the consistency of the risotto should be creamy.
- At this final stage, add the green goddess mixture to the risotto and stir until heated through. Taste the risotto for seasonings, and adjust if necessary.
- Plate the risotto while hot, sprinkling with additional herbs you have on hands for garnish, and a sprinkling of parm reg, if desired.