Wednesday, August 31, 2011
End of Summer Risotto
Today marked the end of summer in my house- school began for my new 1st grader. New school, new teacher, and a kid so full of confidence in himself that he barely needed me to walk him to his classroom. How did he get so big?
This is just a small sampling of the cherry tomatoes that I picked last week from the four plants in my backyard. That doesn't include the huge beefsteaks and heirlooms that are just days from ripening at the moment. What's a girls to do with them all? This was the dilemma that faced me a few days ago as I was deciding what to make for dinner. A salad (again)? A pasta (eh)? A risotto (YES!!)? I make a killer salad with corn, tomatoes, zucchini and basil and I had a hunch that those flavors would work just barely cooked into a risotto with its creamy rice. Of course, I just happened to have all of those things in my kitchen. So off to the stove I went.
Risotto is nothing to be afraid of, friends. It's really very quick to make and just requires a turn of the spoon every few minutes. The rice and broth do most of the work themselves. All you need to do is stand by and watch the magic happen.
End of Summer Risotto
This, to me, is a meal in and of itself. However, if you have an eater in your house who is anything like my husband, it will also make a nice side dish for grilled or roasted chicken or fish.
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs butter
1 small onion, diced
1 cup arborio or canaroli rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
4-5 cups homemade chicken broth or store bought low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups diced beefsteak tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes
kernels from 2 ears of corn, cut off the cob
1 small zucchini or summer squash, diced
1 cup grated perorino romano or parmesean cheese
handful of basil leaves
In a medium saucepot, bring the chicken broth to a simmer, then turn the heat to low.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and butter. Stir in the onions and saute until they are soft and translucent. Add the rice and stir for a minute or two. The rice will begin to become translucent as well and it will get coated with the butter and oil.