this year my garden had a major overhaul. instead of trying to cram anything and everything in my two hundred square feet, i decided to focus on four things - romaine lettuce, cucumbers, green beans, and tomatoes. fourteen tomato plants to be exact. six romas, one glamour, one san marzano, six cherries, and one unknown my grandpa grew from seed (and so far is doing the best of the bunch - hopefully they all do much better this year than last). i picked my first tomato of the year this week and celebrated it with the perfect summer risotto. and since my basil has been going crazy for weeks, i couldn't help but stir some in at the end. i bet these would make out of this world risotto cakes.
tomato basil risotto
45 minutes, serves 4
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
few tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup arborio rice
4 cups chicken stock
4 medium sized roma tomatoes, diced (use more or less depending on the size of your tomatoes)
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated fontina cheese (optional)
handful of fresh basil, torn
- bring the stock to a simmer in a saucepan and keep hot.
- in a large saute pan or dutch oven, heat the butter and oil over low heat. saute the onions for about five minutes, until soft. add the garlic and cook another minute.
- add the arborio rice and cook, stirring frequently, until the rice is toasted, about three minutes.
- add about one cup of the hot stock to the rice and mix to coat. cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. continue adding about a cup of stock and cooking the rice until about two thirds of the stock has been incorporated. add the diced tomatoes and continue adding the stock and cooking until absorbed, until all the stock has been absorbed.
- mix in the parmesan and fontina cheeses and season with salt and pepper. tear the basil into the risotto and mix in right before serving.