Early Girl Tomato Risotto
Source: Chris Jones, Brix
This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on August 11, 2012.
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup minced yellow onion
4 cups water or chicken stock
1 pound ripe Early Girl tomatoes, cores removed
2 cups carnaroli or arborio rice
½ cup white wine
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
16 ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
1 torpedo onion, sliced into ¼-inch rounds
2 ounces sherry vinaigrette
2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
2 tablespoons chopped chives
2 tablespoons chopped chervil
2 tablespoons chopped fennel fronds
2 tablespoons chopped dill leaves
4 ounces Fourme d’Ambert or other blue cheese
1. To make the risotto, set a medium, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onions and carefully let them sweat until translucent, about 5 minutes. In another pot, bring the water or stock to a simmer. While the liquid heats and onions cook, pulse the tomatoes in a food processor or blender until liquefied. Push through a fine-mesh sieve, reserving the juice and discarding the solids. Add and stir the rice into the sautéed onions and toast for about 2 minutes, or until the grains are hot and opaque. Turn the risotto pot’s heat up to medium-high and add the white wine. Reduce until all the liquid is gone and there is no alcohol smell.
2. Deglaze the rice and onion mixture with 2 cups of the simmering liquid. Stir until the liquid is absorbed and adjust the heat to keep the rice at a slow simmer. Add another 1 to 2 cups of liquid and continue to stir the rice occasionally, making sure the rice is not sticking to the bottom of the pan. When the rice has cooked for about 15 minutes, or when it is about 5 minutes shy of al dente, stir in the reserved tomato juice and continue to stir occasionally, making sure the rice is not sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cook and stir for 4 additional minutes, or until the risotto is creamy and rice is al dente.
3. Quickly stir in 4 tablespoons of the olive oil and the Parmesan cheese. Remove from the heat, taste, and season with salt, if needed. Divide between 4 warm bowls.
4. To assemble the salad, mix the tomatoes, onions, and sherry vinaigrette together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Place equal portions of the tomato and onion mixture in the center of each risotto and garnish with the herbs and Fourme d’Ambert cheese.