I fondly remember a light and delicious herb-lime risotto I enjoyed one sunny September day some years ago. I was at La Fenière, the celebrated hotel and restaurant in Loumarin, Provence, and this was one of the dishes chef Reine Sammut’s offered in her Mediterranean olive oil tasting lunch.
She served the risotto topped with thin strips of braised cuttlefish, drizzled with a few drops of its deep black ink sauce. The seafood was excellent, but the fragrant, fruity rice was the real revelation to me.
Scroll down to see the impressive ‘red risotto’ a variation using beet stems and leaves.
Adapted from my Mediterranean Vegetarian Feasts
I didn’t get Sammut’s recipe, just a description, so this is my own rendition of the dish: a simple greens, garlic, herb, and lime risotto that I make often, using any leafy winter or spring greens, and all or some of the herbs on the list, whatever my garden provides. When I don’t have fresh herbs I use the ones I often freeze; unfortunately even good dried herbs will not give the same rich result.
I conclude by folding-in grated Parmesan, which brings out the flavors of the herbs, and very often top the risotto with a 7-minute cooked egg; the deeply-flavored ones from our neighbor’s hens.
You can also serve along with Baked or roasted Fish, or complement the risotto with grilled Halloumi.
Serves 4-6 as main course; 6-8 as a side dish