Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fresh Tomato Risotto

I saw some reference to Fresh Tomato Risotto a few weeks ago and promptly put it on my short list of Things-I-Must-Cook-Before-Summer's-Bounty-Is-Gone. Risotto is a traditional Italian dish made with Arborio rice -- a short-grain Italian rice. When properly cooked, the rice is creamy, but firm and chewy.

Risotto is quintessentially elegant comfort food. I love it and would make it much more often but for the kids' disinterest. Risotto is traditionally served as a first course, although I love it as a base for both Osso Buco and Bolognese sauce. I've also serve it as a side dish as one would serve rice or pasta. This week, I made a half-recipe for a lovely light lunch with leftovers. This risotto would add a little heft as a first course before a dinner salad such as Crab Cakes and Spring Greens with Lemon Vinaigrette, or make an impressive first course for an Italian dinner party.

I've made risotto often enough that I don't really use a recipe, but consulted a couple of recipes for tomato risottos before making this one, and relied most heavily on this one.

Fresh Tomato Risotto
  • 2 cups chopped fresh tomato
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (plus extra for garnish)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2/3 cup minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Combine the tomato, basil, olive oil and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan, then turn it down to a simmer.
  3. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and saute for about 3-5 minutes until the shallot softens, then add the garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes more.
  4. Add the rice and stir to combine. Cook the rice for about 1 minute, until a white spot appears on each grain, then add the wine.
  5. Cook for another minute until the wine is absorbed, then begin adding the chicken broth 1 cup at a time. Simmer the risotto, stirring occasionally, until the first cup of broth is absorbed.
  6. Add a second cup of broth, simmer, stirring occasionally, until the broth is absorbed.
  7. Repeat until six cups of broth have been added, then add the broth 1/2 cup at a time until the risotto is cooked and the desired consistency is achieved (about 30 minutes total cooking time). The rice should be tender but not firm. You will likely not use all 8 cups of the broth.
  8. Stir in the cheese, tomato mixture and black pepper, stirring gently to combine.
  9. Taste, adjust seasonings, then serve the risotto immediately in shallow bowls, garnishing with fresh basil.
Yield: 4 first course servings Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 40 minutes

My goal while making this dish was to be correct enough in my technique to keep Wolfgang Puck from bursting in the door and declaring me incompetent. The trick is to not overcook the risotto or add too much liquid so that it becomes an overly creamy mush. Not that it will not still taste good -- it just won't be a properly cooked dish. Then again, as long as Wolfgang is not your dinner guest, chances are that no one will know.

This post is linked up over at 33 Shades of Green's Tasty Tuesdays blog hop, These Chicks Cooked and Miz Helen's Full Plate Thursday.


Miz Helen said...

Your Fresh Tomato Risotto looks so creamy and delicious. I just love that it is so fresh. Hope you have a great week end and thanks for sharing with Full Plate Thursday!
Come back soon,
Miz Helen

Lynn said...

I generally consider risotto to be a winter-time comfort food. Not this version -- it really does have a lovely freshness.