Risotto with Foraged Herbs

(serves 2 | 40 minutes | medium)

A super easy risotto, made a bit more magical by adding foraged herbs – I really recommend using foraged ones or at least herbs from your local farmer’s market (so not the usual parsley and company). I made a small selection of agilo ursino, silene, malva leaves, marjoram, ajucche and a few campanula stems. The idea is to make a risotto alla parmigiana or in bianco and add herbs both halfway through cooking at with the infused butter to top off the dish.  

140g arborio or carnaroli rice – 40g butter, divided in half (20g for infusion, 20g for mantecatura) – ¼ cup white wine – 740ml boiling hot broth – grated parmigiano – 10 different foraged herbs – pepper

  1. Place the rice in a large, non-stick pan on medium-high heat. Stir every minute until toasted. To check if it is toasted, hold a few grains between your fingers – when it becomes too hot to hold you’ll know it is ready. Pour in the white wine and let it evaporate almost completely. 
  2. Begin adding the hot broth ladle by ladle, until rice is al dente. I prefer tasting the rice as I go and not putting a timer on (in any case, risotto takes roughly 20 minutes). 
  3. In the meantime place half the butter in a small pot along with 5 or 6 herb leaves, turn the gas onto low and let the butter melt and brown slowly, then turn off and place to one side. 
  4. Dice the remaining herbs extremely finely, helping yourself with a crescent-shaped chopping knife (mezzaluna), then add them to the risotto roughly halfway through cooking. 
  5. Once the risotto is of your desired al dented-ness, turn off the heat, adding an extra ladle of broth if it seems too dry. Place a handful of parmigiana and the remaining butter in the pan and begin mixing vigorously with a wooden spoon until both are combined. Add pepper to taste and plate. 
  6. Drizzle over each dish the brown butter and herbs (reheating it quickly if it solidified). Serve!