Tomato and pine-nut risotto

Among the many delicious options for enriching the basic risotto recipe, tomatoes are a classic choice, and pine nuts round out their taste just perfectly. With its built-in portion of vegetables, this risotto can easily stand on its own as a dinner meal, but also works nicely as a sophisticated side dish.

Source improved on public domain Difficulty easy Time 35 min Serves 2 as a main dish, 3–4 as a side dish

Tomato and pine-nut risotto.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium-sized onions (red ones are pretty here!)
  • 1–2 tbsp clarified butter or olive oil
  • 250 g plain risotto rice (e.g., Arborio)
  • 150 ml white or red wine
  • 4–6 medium-sized tomatoes or a box of cherry tomatoes
  • 50–100 g pine nuts
  • 750 ml boiling hot water
  • vegetable stock for 1 l of volume
  • grated Gruyère cheese
  • (optional: basil leaves)
  • (optional: black pepper)

Depending on where you live, it might be hard to get good tomatoes. The big ones in particular may be bred for size and shelf life at the cost of taste. If you can, buy tomatoes with the green stalks still attached; those are usually fresher and tastier. Cherry tomatoes may also be a solution if you can’t find tasty regular-sized ones.

See this post for advice on risotto rice and vegetable stock and this one for clarified butter.

Unlike the prosecco and shallot risotto, I’d just use regular wine for this recipe, since the wine taste will be less prominent here.

Preparation

As part of the preparations, wash the tomatoes and cut them into coarse pieces, and toast the pine nuts as in this recipe. You can do the toasting in parallel with the risotto once the latter is peacefully cooking in broth, but take care not to neglect either. Pine nuts burn easily. If you have basil leaves, wash them and chop them coarsely.

Otherwise, the procedure is pretty much the same as for the basic risotto recipe. Add the tomatoes into the pan right after the wine. Note that they will contribute a significant amount of liquid to the risotto, so you’ll need about a cup less water than for the basic risotto (only 750 ml). Do use the amount of vegetable stock appropriate for the full liter of liquid, though, or the risotto will end up undersalted.

Stir in the toasted pine nuts towards the end of the cooking process. Basil leaves should be added together with the cheese and the second application of wine, after the pan has been taken off the heat. They will lose most of their flavor if you cook them for long.

Variations

You can add more tomatoes if you feel like a healthy, vegetable-rich meal, though they will dominate the taste at the expense of the other ingredients at some point.

We tried adding parsely and weren’t too happy with it. I suppose fresh rosemary would work well, though.

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