Roasted Cherry Tomato Risotto

Risotto is a creamy Italian rice dish. There are many variations but tomato is classic. This recipe isn’t authentic since I didn’t use any wine or stock and instead opted for water, which is more budget friendly. I don’t find this particular recipe really needs either.

Roasted Cherry Tomato Risotto:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups arborio or carnaroli rice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 5 cups hot water, plus a little splash
  • a heaping 1/4cup roasted cherry tomatoes (see previous post for method)
  • 1 tsp cold butter
  • a handful of freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • a few leaves of fresh basil, torn into small pieces

Makes enough rice for 4 potions.

Have a large baking tray on the counter close by.

In a large sauce pot over medium heat cook your onions and garlic until softened, add in the rice and toast for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat up to med-high and add the salt and 1 cup of the water. Cook the rice, stirring occasionally until the liquid has mostly been absorbed then add another cup of water. Continue this way, letting the liquid mostly absorb before adding another cup of water, stirring occasionally, until all 5 cups have been added. Once the last cup of water has been mostly absorbed, pour 3/4 of the rice out onto the tray waiting nearby. Spread it out evenly to cool for later. Add another splash of water and the cherry tomatoes to the pot and return to the heat. Cook another 2 minutes, remembering to stir and take the pot off the heat. Add the butter, parmesan and basil and stir until it is all combined. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Your first portion of risotto is ready!

Once the rest of the rice has cooled on the tray place it in a container and refrigerate. When reheating a portion, you can you a smaller pot or pan. Heat your portion of rice with 1/4 water and the cherry tomatoes over medium-high, stirring, of course. This should only take 2-3 minutes. Once hot, take the pot off the heat and then add in the butter, parmesan and basil.

cherry tom rizzo 2

Risotto pointers –

  1. it’s important to use a very wide pot when making the rice base. the rice should only cover the bottom of the pot and come about 1/2 to 1 inch up the side. This ensures even cooking.
  2. Stir, stir, stir, and… stir. This is what helps create the creamy texture. Your spoon will slough off some of the starch from the grains of rice and mix it into the liquid, giving you the creaminess you want.
  3. Toasting the grains before adding water helps them keep their shape and stay firm through all that stirring. Skipping this step results in mushy broken up rice.
  4. Have some white wine handy? Replace 1/2 cup of the water for wine. Add it in as the first bit of liquid in the pot.
  5. It only takes 20 minutes for the rice to be fully cooked. If making extra for later spread it out on a tray to cool at the 18 minute mark. This is called a risotto base. This way when you’re adding liquid to heat it up again later it won’t end up mushy and over-cooked.
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