Risotto sounds intimidating, and it does require a lot of stirring, but really, it’s a very simple dish to make. The best thing about it is that you can basically stir in just about anything and thus reinvent the dish for yourself. It’s the perfect palette for a variety of flavorful foods, from mushrooms to leeks, to spring peas, to sun-dried tomatoes, to seafood, to lemon – you name it!
This risotto is a simple one, with the only added ingredient being tangy sun-dried tomatoes. I complemented the sun-dried tomatoes with some simply roasted cherry (or grape, to be precise) tomatoes over the top. The roasting brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes, and their freshness was a nice counterpoint to the creamy risotto.
You CAN leave the risotto on its own for a minute or two – especially if you’re using a non-stick pan, but you need to make sure it doesn’t stick to the pan and burn. I found that the 40 minutes of stirring wasn’t too tedious if I busied myself doing other tasks around the kitchen at the same time (washing dishes, organizing spices, etc…).
Oh, and you MUST serve this immediately, otherwise the luscious creaminess turns sticky and thick and not very nice.
Sun-Dried Tomato Risotto with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
salt and pepper
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, diced fine
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 ½ cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
4 cups (or more) warm chicken broth
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil or softened in hot water), chopped
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Toss the halved cherry tomatoes with 2 tbsp of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and roast in oven about 10 minutes, until soft and slightly browned.
Melt the butter with the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic, and cook until they start to soften. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until edges of rice begin to grow translucent, about 2 minutes.
Add the white wine, and stir until absorbed by the rice. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes. Gradually add the broth one cup at a time, allowing each cup of broth to be absorbed by the rice before adding more. Rice is done when creamy and tender, but still a bit al dente.
Serve the risotto topped with roasted tomatoes and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts, if desired.