Late summer/early fall is here and the tomatoes are plentiful! We don’t have as much of a large garden as we have in the past but we still snuck in a few tomato plants amongst our herbs and a few jalapeños. This recipe I tried last summer and it’s just so good with all those fresh ingredients. If you aren’t growing your own, like us, you can always skip down to your local farmers market or even a lot of grocery stores sell local fresh this time of year! But hurry quick tomato season is always plentiful but over in a flash!
I love risotto and this is one of my favorites. Some people think risotto can be time consuming and tedious, which sure I guess it can be if you are a set it and forget it type. I definitely am some days, but all-in-all risotto doesn’t take THAT long to cook and the results are always worth it.
The reason you slowly cook and continuously stir it is to introduce air and release starch which makes it thicker and creamier (without cheese or dairy). That’s why you always have to keep an eye on the texture and know when to add more liquid (when the rice doesn’t come back together as quickly while stirring.
With the fresh summer tomatoes it ends up sweet and savory at the same time. Also don’t skip on the fresh tomatoes on the side when serving- it really enhances the flavor of each bite of risotto to also have a bit of fresh tomato with it! Definitely run to the farmers market the next week or two to get those last but PERFECT summer tomatoes before its over!
- 2 Cups fresh tomatoes, chopped
- 2 whole tomatoes, sliced for serving
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- Fresh basil, torn for garnish
- salt and pepper
- Olive oil, about 2 Tbsp
In a small pot bring the vegetable stock to a simmer. Then in another larger pot heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until soft and translucent.
Add the rice to the onions and continue to cook for another couple minutes (until onions start to get golden). Add garlic, white wine and diced tomatoes and cook, stirring every few minutes, until liquid is absorbed.
Then add half of the vegetable stock and cook for another 5 minutes or so continuously mixing with a spoon. When most of the liquid is absorbed begin to add a ladle worth of stock at a time while continuing to mix until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat adding liquid a ladle at a time and mixing until the stock is all absorbed. The rice should be cooked but not mushy.
Turn off heat and mix in parmesan cheese and basil (saving some for garnish). Season with more salt and pepper if desired.
Serve with tomato slices and a big piece of bread! Garnish with more basil and cheese if desired.
Pro Tip: I sometimes reserve a little bit of stock in case it gets too thick while preparing a few other things. it’s easy to add a splash to loosen it but your risotto should stay together pretty firmly (not dry) instead of runny when served.