Thursday, September 29, 2016

Cherry Tomato Risotto

My favourite dinner growing up was tomato risotto. It was so simple and one of the first dishes I learned how to cook. It was just a basic risotto with a tin of chopped tomatoes mixed in before the stock. So simple and so tasty, I do still love it to this day. 

Risotto is one of those things that I will always be looking for new flavour combinations to try. It is so versatile, you can almost throw anything into it. I was thinking about dinner a few weeks ago and I got a craving for my old favourite, tomato risotto. I looked over to our fruit bowl and saw some gorgeous, perfectly ripe, cherry tomatoes on the vine and just knew I had to use them for something special. What better way to jazz up a simple, old favourite than adapting it to use fresh, in season ingredients instead of the tinned version. 

You can't go wrong with these flavours; rich creamy risotto, with fresh sweet cherry tomatoes and then the aromatic flavour of basil just at the end. Absolutely perfect. 

Serves: 2
Smartpoints Per Serving: 9 sp
Smartpoints on No Count: 6sp
120g Arborio Rice
12 Cherry Tomatoes (on the vine)
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 chicken stock pot
100g baby spinach
small bunch of basil
salt & black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180C. Leaving the tomatoes on the vine, spray with a little low cal spray oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until the skins have just started to burst. If you roast them in a makeshift dish made of tin foil, you can collect all the lovely juices to add to the risotto later.

While these are cooking, finely chop the onion and garlic. Heat the oil over a medium heat and cook the onions & garlic gently for around 5 minutes until they are nice and soft. Make up the stock to 750ml with hot water. Add the rice to the onions & garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring constantly. Reduce to a low heat.

Start to add the stock a ladle at a time, waiting until the previous addition is fully absorbed until adding the next. You want to gently stir the whole time and continue this process until the rice is cooked al dente.

Stir through the roasted tomatoes, their juice and the spinach. Cook for another 2 minutes and then stir through the basil. Season to taste and serve immediately.

I served this topped with a little parmesan cheese and with a large green salad with balsamic dressing and it was sublime. 

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