Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Roasted Tomato Risotto

Copyright 2006 by Cooking With The Single Guy


3 to 5 medium-sized tomatoes
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1 cup Arborio rice
1 15-oz can of garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed
1 small glass of dry white wine
1-1/2 cans chicken broth (14 oz. can)
5-6 twigs of fresh rosemary
3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese (or parmigiano reggiano)
2 T unsalted butter
olive oil
sea salt to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Slice the tomatoes and lay them flat in a roasting pan lined with aluminum foil or a baking dish. Drizzle olive oil to coat the tomatoes. Add three or four twigs of fresh rosemary (ripped apart) and sprinkle some sea salt, then gently mix to make sure all the slices are coated. Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the tomato’s skin starts to wrinkle and you get a slight browning color on top.

In a medium saucepan, warm 2 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat and add onion. Cook for about two minutes until translucent, making sure not to brown the onions. Add rice and stir with onions, letting the heat toast the rice for about a minute. Turn heat to medium and add wine and cook until most of it evaporates. Add broth, about 1 cup, with two twigs of rosemary. Continue cooking for about 15 minutes, adding 1 cup of broth along the way, until rice is al dente, or almost done. Add beans about five minutes before the risotto is done.

Remove saucepan from the fire and stir in butter and cheese, taking out the rosemary twigs. Add salt to your taste. Let it sit for about a minute, then plate up your risotto. Get your roasted tomatoes from the oven and place slices over the rice. Garnish with more parmesan.

Makes two servings. Serve with small green salad.

Pair with a California chardonnay.

TIPS: Warming your broth and setting it on the side to use while cooking your risotto will make sure your risotto has consistent heat throughout the cooking process. Be patient: Don’t feel tempted to add all the broth in at once. You’ll end up making soup because the rice won’t be able to slowly absorb the tasty broth. Also, you may not need to use all the broth or you may run out. If your risotto looks ready with a nice creamy texture, then don’t bother adding any more broth. If you run out of broth and it looks like your risotto still needs more time, add some water. You’ll make up for the taste with some salt for seasoning.

CHOICES: Risotto rice makes this dish unique with its short grain and creamy texture. So you can’t substitute it with the typical long-grain rice or even Japanese sushi rice. But you do have choices. There are three main Italian rice to make risotto: Arborio, Carnaroli and Vialone Nano. Arborio is the one most widely available outside of Italy and can be easily found in any grocery store. It consistently cooks in 15 minutes and produces a nice cream. But don’t be afraid to experiment with Carnaroli and Vialone Nano if you spot them on a gourm et store shelf. They both cook a bit longer, but Carnaroli grains keep more of their shape so it’s a nice choice if you don’t like your risotto too mushy. Vialone Nano is creamier if you want to go the other direction. It’s your choice, Goldilocks.

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