Updated 08/29/2012 05:00 AM
Recipe: Summer Vegetable Risotto with Basil Pesto Tomatoes
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1 cup Arborio rice
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock (plus 1 cup water)
1 1/2 - 2 cups diced onion
olive oil for sauteing onion
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 cup dry white wine (optional but good)
4-6 ears fresh corn, kernels removed
2-3 small to medium sized zucchini, deseeded and sliced
2-3 cups sliced cherry tomatoes (or diced larger tomatoes)
approx. 1/4 cup basil pesto
grated parmesan cheese for garnish
There is a bit of knife work involved so get all of the vegetables ready to go before you start cooking anything.
Use a pot on the stovetop to heat 4 cups of vegetable or chicken stock with 1 cup of water and, while that is heating up, use another large, somewhat deep, heavy bottomed pan to saute 1 1/2 - 2 cups of diced onion, in a bit of olive oil, to soften.
Then add 1 large minced clove of garlic and 1 cup of Arborio rice to the onions. Stir that around and let it toast for 2 - 3 minutes.
Add about 1 cup of dry white wine to the rice and cook that along until the wine is absorbed.
Once the wine has been absorbed add a ladle or two of the stock to the rice, stir that in, and continue to add more stock as the rice absorbs it.
While you're keeping your eye on the rice, use another large saute pan to saute the corn and sliced zucchini.
Stir that around and cook it until the zucchini is just tender crisp and then turn the heat off.
The rice will take 20 - 30 minutes to cook (you might not use all of the stock) and, when it is nice and creamy and soft to the tooth, add the cooked corn and zucchini. Add a good handful of grated parmesan cheese, stir that together and turn the heat off.
Take a minute to toss the sliced tomatoes with the basil pesto and then serve the risotto in large bowls with the tomatoes on top and finish with more grated parmesan cheese.
This same technique works with other vegetables as well, like mushrooms, spinach, asparagus etc.
If you are making mushroom risotto you can use storebought mushroom stock (instead of chicken or vegetable stock) to give it more mushroom depth of flavor.