With the bounty of Greenflash tomatoes right now, try this creamy risotto for a satisfying summertime meal. The tomatoes add subtle texture and their juices imbue the rice with flavor and moisture. A sprinkling of fresh basil or other favorite herb completes the dish.
Try a meaty tomato, such as the beautiful, subtly striped Speckled Roman, for extra tomato goodness. Garnish with cherry tomatoes, if desired.
3 to 4 servings
4 cups reduced- or low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot or small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 cup Arborio, Carnaroli, or “risotto” rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups chopped ripe tomatoes and their juices
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese, plus more for serving
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
Sea or Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer. Cover and keep warm over low heat (you can also microwave the broth).
In a large stockpot over medium heat, add the oil. Sauté the shallot for 5 minutes, or until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and and red pepper flakes and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the rice and sauté for 1 minute. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the wine and stir frequently until it is almost completely absorbed. Add the tomatoes and their juices and stir to incorporate. Begin slowly adding the broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently. Wait until the liquid is almost completely absorbed before adding more, 2 to 4 minutes. Continue to sequentially add broth for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the risotto has a creamy texture and the rice has softened but is still a bit al dente, stirring frequently. You many not need to use all of the broth (start checking after 3 cups).
When the risotto is ready, stir in the cheese and the basil. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with additional cheese on the side.
For a vegetarian version, use vegetable broth or water.
Add cooked sausage for a heartier meal.
Heating the broth before adding to the rice helps maintain a consistent cooking temperature.