Weekly Basket #18
October 19, 2017
Featured Item: Fines herbes!
Arugula with nasturtiums
Fines herbes (chives, flat-leaf parsley, chervil and tarragon)
A gift of homemade red pepper jelly!
Fines herbes is a classic french combination of herbs, typically made up of parsley, chervil, tarragon and chives. The delicate combo is best added at the last minute since heat will diminish its flavour. Fines herbes go well with chicken, eggs and fish, or even thrown in a salad.
As the last week of our CSA, I decided to end with a recipe for one of my most favourite things to cook: risotto. I love the slow ritual of cooking it and it really is the epitome of comfort food. Hope you'll enjoy the process of cooking and eating it as much as I do!
Risotto with Fines Herbes and Pan-Seared Scallops
1/2 to 1 lb scallops
2 Tbsp butter, divided
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp chervil
2 tbsp chives
1 tbsp tarragon
6 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 small onion, diced
2 medium leeks
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken broth, warmed
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all fresh herbs in a bowl with 4 tbsp of olive oil. Using an immersion blender, mix until it forms a coarse paste. Set aside. Alternatively, use a food processor or mortar and pestle.
Cut leeks lengthwise and fan out. Rinse under tap to remove any trapped dirt and then slice thinly, tossing away the coarser dark green leaves. Dice onion and mince garlic.
Rinse and dry scallops. Heat 1 tbsp of butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once pan is hot, place scallops in pan without crowding them (depending on the size of the pan, you may have to do them in batches). Season with salt and pepper. Brown on one side for 3 to 4 minutes, then using tongs flip them and brown the other side for an additional 3 to 4 minutes until firm and thoroughly cooked. Remove from pan and set both the pan and scallops aside for later use.
In a small pot, put chicken broth on a low heat and bring to a simmer. In a larger skillet or sauté pan, heat remaining 1 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add leeks and cook until wilted, about 10-15 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional minute.
Nest, add rice stirring to coat and cook about 2 minutes. Add wine and stir until almost entirely evaporated. By this time, the chicken broth should be at a low simmer. Add about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring the risotto until the liquid has almost completely evaporated before adding the next 1/2 cup. Repeat until all chicken broth is used and rice is tender.
When rice is almost tender, return scallops to original pan over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp of herb paste and a splash of white wine. Stir the scallops to coat and cook until just warmed and wine has evaporated.
Once rice is tender, stir in cheese and remaining herb paste. Season with salt and pepper. Top with scallops. Serves four.