Be sure to serve this risotto with plenty of parmesan cheese. Photo / Eleanor Ozich

Artichoke Risotto With Garlic & Herb Oil

For a divine dinner, you can't go past this simple artichoke risotto. The best part? It's the ultimate one-pot meal

This simple artichoke and garlic risotto is like a big, warm hug in a dish. To counter the richness of the buttery rice, I add a splash of lemon, and serve with puddles of vibrant herb oil. It's lovely topped with juicy cherry tomatoes. 

Serves 6

Herb oil
2 cups fresh herbs such as mint, parsley and basil.
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled

2 Tbsp butter, ghee or olive oil
1 brown onion, finely sliced
6 cloves garlic, skins removed, roughly chopped
500g Arborio or risotto rice
2 wine glasses white wine
6 cups good quality chicken stock
1 jar marinated artichokes, drained and roughly sliced
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp butter
100g freshly grated parmesan cheese

1. To make the herb oil, add all ingredients to a blender, and blend until smooth. Pour into a medium sized glass jar, and set aside.

2. Heat butter, ghee or olive oil in a large heavy bottomed saucepan over a medium heat. Add onion and garlic, then cook while stirring until softened and slightly browned.

3. Add rice and lightly fry for a couple of minutes while stirring to prevent from burning. Add wine and continue to cook until liquid has absorbed into the rice.

4. Add a ladleful of stock along with the artichokes, and turn heat down to low. Simmer gently for a minute or so until rice has fully absorbed the liquid. Continue to add remaining stock one ladleful at a time, stirring to massage the creamy starch out of the rice.

5. Once all stock has been added, taste to see if the rice is cooked. If not, add a little water and continue to cook while stirring until perfectly done. The rice should be soft but with a subtle bite.

6. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

7. Remove from heat and gently stir in the lemon juice, butter and grated parmesan . Place a lid on top and leave to sit for 1-2 minutes before dividing between bowls.

8. Serve with cherry tomatoes and a drizzle of the herb oil. Leftover herb oil can be stored in the pantry for up to 2 months.

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New Zealand Herald

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