This risotto is one of the highlights of my summer menus. When my heirloom tomatoes finally start giving me an endless supply, this is one of the first dishes I will prepare. Chances are, by mid to late August we start experiencing cooler evenings in Minnesota, and a warm bowl of summer tomatoes with rice and fresh mozzarella melting on top is a delicious joy. If a dinner invitation is extended to friends or family, there is a high probability that they will be eating Tomato Risotto on our patio.
And when I begin to have more tomatoes than I know what to do with, I will double or even triple the recipe, and package up containers of the tomato risotto base for the freezer. There's nothing better than eating this in the winter when it's snowing outdoors.
:: Summer Tomato Risotto | adapted from a recipe by Sheila Lukins
• 2 Tbsp. olive oil
• 1 cup coarsely chopped onion
• 2 Tbsp. minced garlic
• 2 lbs. garden tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
• 1-2 Tbsp. honey
• 1 1/4 cups Arborio rice
• 6 cups organic Chicken Broth
• 1/2 cup basil, chopped
• salt & freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
• sliced fresh mozzarella
1. Heat the oil in a heavy pot over low heat. Add the onion and cook to wilt slightly, 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook 4 minutes longer.
2. Add the tomatoes and honey, increase the heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the mixture has thickened, about 20 minutes (At this point, the mixture can be cooled, placed in a container and frozen).
3. When the tomatoes are nearly done (or when the tomatoes have been removed from the freezer and defrosted, and gently reheated in a pot for the risotto) heat the chicken broth to a simmer.
4. Add the rice to the tomatoes and stir well, making sure that all of the grains are coated with the mixture.
5. Add 1/2 cup of the hot broth and cook, stirring frequently, until it has been absorbed into the rice, 3 - 4 minutes. Continue to cook, stir, and add broth 1/2 cup at a time until all has been absorbed.
6. Remove the risotto from the heat and add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the chopped basil.
7. Portion into bowls and top with sliced fresh mozzarella.
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