My neighbor brought me a bowl of tomato risotto recently. She calls the dish “Leftover Risotto,” because its contents depend on what she has in the frig. She says it never turn out the same way twice. I lucked out because there were onions, mushrooms, carrots, corn, green beans and sun dried tomatoes in the version she brought me. And it was topped with shavings of Parmesan cheese. She had captured a tasty, healthy meal simply with what was on hand. I like that.
But in case you don’t have the same leftovers as my neighbor, here’s a basic recipe among the hundreds of variations. One is on the New York Times cooking site. Another, very similar one, is on the blog of the Pioneer Woman, and also shown at the bottom of this post. PW has extensive photos that guide you gently through the process, though the recipe is too easy to warrant much hand holding.
Riosotto isn’t hard to make, but it does requires patience. You need to hover near the stove top so you can add broth, stir, and wait for the liquid to absorb (3 to 5 minutes between additions).
I recall the old, Japanese adage, “If you want to learn patience, sit in your garden and watch the rocks grow.” Today’s version might be, “Stand over your burner and watch the risotto cook.” I jest. You just have to be vigilant.
Here’s the recipe from The Pioneer Woman, though I left out the heavy cream. I substituted some coconut milk I had left over from the Indian curry I made earlier in the week.
Sun-Dried Tomato Risotto
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 whole large yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups Arborio rice, uncooked
- 8 whole sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and minced
- 1 cup dry white wine (optional)
- 7 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- Fresh basil (optional)