Monday, October 17, 2011

Meatless Monday: Roasted Cherry Tomato & Zucchini Risotto

Roasted Cherry Tomato & Zucchini Risotto

It's the middle of October, but you wouldn't know it from the 100 plus temperatures in Los Angeles last week!

I had to fire up the air conditioner and huddle indoors. The Adorable Monster and I both started to go a little bit stir crazy. Thankfully, that weather has passed, and I'm back to cooking more fall-ish, comforting recipes.

Of all the comfort foods out there, risotto has got to be one of my favorites. And we're just back from a trip to San Francisco, where we dined at my brother's restaurant, Picco. They're known for their risotto, which comes out fresh on the half hour. It changes nightly, but always involves some fabulous combination of vegetables. Who knew that rice and veggies could taste so spectacular?

And that has inspired me to share this recipe for Roasted Cherry Tomato & Zucchini Risotto. I also figured that I'd better slip it in before we hit winter, since it uses the last of the late summer harvest (my parents in Virginia are still pulling tomatoes from their garden, if you can believe it).

I love this combination of tomatoes and squash, which I roast first in the oven to intensify their flavor. Working with the components separately to wring the most flavor out of them is a key to making to die for risotto (my brother does this at his restaurant). Another key is homemade stock, but store bought works, too.

Roasted Cherry Tomato & Zucchini Risotto
Serves 3-4 people
Cooking time: about 40 minutes
Vegetarian; gluten-free
Print Recipe

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups zucchini, chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups vegetable stock (preferably homemade)
  • 2 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup parmesan reggiano cheese, plus more for garnishing
  • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Toss the cherry tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Do the same thing with the zucchini.
  3. Spread the cherry tomatoes evenly over a cookie sheet or other oven proof dish. Do the same thing with the zucchini on another cookie sheet. 
  4. Roast both in the oven until they're tender and gently caramelized (about 20-30 minutes depending on size). Remove from the oven and set aside.
  5. Meanwhile prepare the risotto by heating the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. 
  6. Add the shallots and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Then, stir in the rice, coating it with the oil, and cook for another two minutes. 
  7. Pour in the white wine and stir until absorbed. Once the wine has been absorbed, slowly add the vegetable stock 1/2 at cup at a time, stirring until it's absorbed before adding more stock. Continue adding stock and cooking until the rice is al dente (note: you may not use all of the stock).
  8. Once the rice is cooked, stir in the roasted tomatoes, the roasted zucchini, the parmesan, and the parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  9. To plate, spoon the risotto into bowls. Top with freshly ground pepper and drizzle with a little good olive oil. Enjoy!

Source for Ingredients
  • cherry tomatoes, zucchini, shallots, and parsley from the West Hollywood Farmers Market 
  • parmesan reggiano, arborio rice, white wine, and olive oil from Trader Joe's 

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