We have so much beautiful produce right now! I know this is almost all I have been talking about lately, but just bear with me. Unfortunately, before we know it, we will be back to barren winter and the only thing I’ll be posting about is braised short ribs or braised lamb shanks or braised something or other with hardly a fresh vegetable in sight. But, between the farmer’s markets and our garden, we right now have gorgeous tomatoes, eggplants, squash, zucchini, onions, okra, peppers of all kinds, beets, carrots, and it just goes on and on. We had quite an assortment on hand the other day, and several things that were needing used ASAP. I decided I was a little veggie pasta-ed out (as its pretty much my go-to easy meal), so I decided to do risotto, which I had not made in months. I also had on hand some tomato sauce that I had made earlier in the week for a pizza. It’s just a basic tomato sauce that I usually make a kinda big batch of and then keep on hand to use in multiple things (pizza sauce, pasta sauce, etc) over the next week or so as it is very versatile and keeps fine for over a week. I thought giving the risotto some tomato flavor from this sauce and adding in some oven roasted veggies would be a good combo.
Tomato Risotto with Roasted Veggies
- 1 zucchini, halved lengthwise, and then in half and again, and then into 1/2 inch slices
- 1 yellow squash, halved lengthwise, and then in half and again, and then into 1/2 inch slices
- 1 yellow onion, half sliced into thick slices; the other half small dice
- about 1 cup cubed eggplant (I used this small, white, thin eggplant, but use whatever looks best for you)
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes (whatever variety/size of tomatoes you prefer)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- olive oil – for roasting veggies and for starting risotto
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1/2 cup white wine
- about 4 cups broth, warmed on the stove
- 3/4 cup tomato sauce (recipe below)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Toss zucchini, squash, sliced onions, eggplant, and tomatoes with some olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread onto sheet pan in single layer and roast in over for about 12-15 minutes, stirring once. Remove from oven and set aside.
In the meantime, heat a large pan on medium heat and add about 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add onion and sweat about 3 minutes. Add garlic and sweat another 2-3 minutes. Add rice and continue to cook another couple of minutes, or until rice starts to look a little bit “toasted”. Add white wine and let reduce until almost gone.
Keeping heat right about medium, start adding broth to rice, about a 1/2 cup at a time. Add first 1/2 cup to rice and slowly stir in. Continue stirring rice until all the broth has been absorbed. As soon as the rice starts looking just a bit dry, add another 1/2 cup or so of broth. Keep temp so that broth/rice bubbles just a tiny bit, but in no way is a rigorous boil.
Though you do not have to literally stir constantly as some risotto recipes call for, you do need to be pretty vigilant with your stirring. Continually stirring helps to release the starches in the rice and create the creamy texture that you want in a risotto.
After several broth additions, start to taste your ristto. You want to season the risotto as you go along – not just right at the beginning or right at the end. So, keep tasting to know where you are with seasoning and also to taste the doneness of the rice. Once the rice has just almost reached the proper consistency, add the tomato sauce. Let cook down for about 3 more minutes or until rice is a nice consistency your are happy with. Stir in the butter. Once the butter has melted in, add the cheese. Taste again for any last seasoning. Add about half the vegetable mixture. Plate and divvy out any remaining roasted veggie mixture on top. Finish with just a bit of shaved Parm on top.
- 1 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes (can be found in any decent Italian store)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 2 big pinches salt
- 2 teaspoons fresh cracked pepper
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste for any additional salt/pepper seasoning the may be needed.