Summer is the peak of tomato season. This summer tomato risotto takes advantage of the bright, fresh flavors of the tomato by letting it shine in this dish.
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 summer 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- Add the rice to the tomatoes and stir well, making sure that all of the grains are coated with the mixture.
- 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.
- Remove the risotto from the heat and add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the chopped basil.
- Portion into bowls and top with sliced fresh mozzarella.
I grew up in the Amana Colonies in Iowa; a German community made up of seven villages, where gardening, cooking, and hand-made were the center of our lives. I went on to study fiber at the Kansas City Art Institute and for many years created one-of-a-kind, crocheted linen bags that were sold through galleries, museums, and boutiques across the country. I have also restored Oriental rugs, done graphic design, worked as a colorist, catered, consulted (on whatever...) and raised two beautiful daughters. I now spend my days in my kitchen baking and asking myself, "Why didn't I go to France and study pastry?" I am now making up for lost time, sharing with you what I love to do most in the kitchen.